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TUV Leader Unearths ANOTHER £9.5 Million Spent on Hospitality giving a total of £14 million in Five Years

14 April 2012

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:


“Last month, through Assembly Questions, I revealed that since DUP/Sinn Fein came to power in 2007, Northern Ireland’s government departments had splashed £4.5 million on hospitality. Since obtaining that information I have been investigating how much the department’s arms-length bodies have spent on wining and dining. The answer - £9,357,763 – will doubtless shock many people.


“That the government should have spent almost fourteen million pounds of taxpayers' money on  hospitality in a five year period is, quite simply, scandalous.


“If one is hunting for savings with could be made in the health service then look no further than these figures. In 2007/8 the Southern Trust spent £62,000, the Eastern Trust £97,500 and the Western Trust £109,200. Since 2007/08 the Southern Trust has spent an eye-watering £379,400 on hospitality.


“The figures for NI Water are also staggering. £62,000 in 2006/07, £63,000 in 2007/08, £67,000 in 2008/09 and £53,000 in 2009/10.


“I also wonder how on earth the Department of Education’s arms-length bodies managed to run up hospitality bills averaging well over £600,000 a year.


“And what of InvestNI? Given that they recently footed the bill for 14 representatives to attend a Van Morrison concert preceded by a champagne reception and five-course meal at a cost of over £200 a head, I suppose I shouldn’t be all that surprised that managed to spend over £2,000,000 on hospitality in the last five years.


“We hear a lot of talk from the Executive about sharing the pain of ordinary people at a time of economic downturn but it is evident from these figures such is humbug and that very considerable savings can and indeed should be made.”


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NI politics