Sunday 7 March 2010


What in the name of goodness is it that makes people think that, the moment they can lay their hands upon the public’s money, they have carte blanche to spend it any old how they want, on luxuries for themselves?

According to an article in the Herald the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS), set up to keep water bills down, has spent tens of thousands of our pounds on trips to luxury resorts, expensive dinners and sporting treats for its staff.

They spent almost £25,000 on a visit to a five-star hotel in England (why England?) and over £3,000 on hospitality at the Edinburgh’s New Club. Further there were Christmas parties and a wine-tasting event.

The WICS was set up in 2005 to encourage Scottish Water to reduce prices (Why can't the government just tell them to do it?) It has six commissioners including a chairman and a chief executive and 23 staff funded mainly by Scottish Water.

In 2007, it spent £14,616 on a staff awayday at Hamilton Park Racecourse, including two overnights in a top Glasgow hotel, a nightclub visit, champagne reception and luxury foods. Then 25 of them went to a seminar at a five-star hotel and spa again in England, all of which cost you and me £24,286.

In 2009, to mark the completion of a piece of work, staff were treated to a £3,500 celebration at around £40 a head. (I thought that reward for work was a salary?) There was a party at Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews costing £9,088 in 2008 and another costing £8,427 last December. Football matches and wine tasting evenings also figure in the entertainment you have been providing for these clearly VERY special people. An analyst was given £1,796 for flights between the UK and Switzerland so that he could see his family at weekends. Awwwww.

A Glasgow SNP MSP Bill Kidd said: “This is nothing more than jollies on a grand scale......... Once again the arrogance, insensitivity and downright greed of public service fat-cats is exposed, and it really needs to be addressed.”

David Whitton, Labour’s shadow finance spokesman, said that he was absolutely astonished that a public body felt it could spend money this way and suggested that officials at the WICS should explain their spending in front of the parliament’s finance committee.

I’m almost speechless. I read in other papers that Westminster is considering putting VAT on food to try to pay off some of the debt that Labour has run up and on the same day I’m reading about people who spend more than the royal family on their food... and we are paying for it.

I agree with Mr Whitton. Haul these people before the finance committee of Parliament and let’s hear all about what a set of greedy self-serving pigs they are.


  1. Glasgow SNP MSP Bill Kidd is also in favour of the Alcohol minimum pricing bill, despite it being illegal under EU regulations. No doubt he and David Whitton also have their noses in the expenses trough and see this as a good deflection.

    Bit cynical today aren't I :-D

  2. I would expect more of these kinds of horror stories prior to the announcement of SW going either mutual or private. This is how they convince folks that they'll be better served if SW was sold off.

  3. You are a bit QM.... and it’s so unlike you ;-).

    I'm not going to speculate though, on whether these people have their hands in the till. So far the SNP has not been guilty of this kind of thing, I'm proud to say, and Parliament, on all sides has been relatively.... repeat relatively.... clean.

    There, you see, I'm feeling optimistic tonight.....:-)

  4. I really, really hope they won't do that Scunnert, but I can see why they might feel they had to.

    London is going to squeeze the life blood out of us to pay for Labour's incompetent recession, and the greed of the financial sector.

    Whilst they are not going to suffer at all, apart from a few tens of thousand redundancies at the bottom.... and let's face it, they don't give a thought about that.... we are all going to be eating mud shortly. In England they are looking to privatise all manner of little things...anything that people will buy.... in order to keep basic services open.

    Of course it wouldn’t occur to them to stop fighting wars as a way of saving money... nah, no chance.

    So, perhaps to keep our hospitals open and drugs available, we may have to consider this privatisation.

    I really hope not though

  5. Ah Tris you've just reminded me of an article I read a couple of weeks ago. It would link well with this. ;)

  6. Let's do it SR..... :-)