Why are you paying for a millionaire’s junkets..?

THE Irish News reports that the NIO has defended the £77,000 cost of the multi-millionaire Secretary of State’s three business class trips to America in the space of five months – they were needed in order to ensure continued US support for the peace process. Obviously this is taxpayers’ money well spent, given the constant deluge of stories in the media about the US constantly threatening to withdraw its support for the new, stable, US-backed political institutions…

  • Ask Shaun

    Shaun, the rent collector: “8. Land and Property
    I own properties in France, New York State and the West Indies from which rental income is received.”

  • Damian O’Loan

    While the issue of the money spent is serious, to me it is less serious than the money not spent.

    “The officials’ hotel accommodation cost a total of £3,000 over the three trips.

    The NIO said Mr Woodward stayed at ambassadors’ residences or made “private arrangements”.”

    From yesterday’s Irish News report.

    What were these private arrangements? What’s on the reverse side of the coin? We will never know. This is the real story here. If on government business, why was he calling in favours for accomodation?

  • wild turkey

    Ah, I seem to remember that when I was employed in the ‘public’ service, there were fairly clear and stringent upper limits on what one could spend on overnite accomodation, food, etc. etc. I think it was termed subsistence allowance.

    Even a cursory glance at the figures in the Irish News indicates that figures for food and accomodation are well above the threshold for mere civil servants.

    Can we take it that senior NIO officials are not bound by the same ‘subsistence’ allowances that apply to the wider civil service?

    £77k may be seen by some as a drop of piss in the bucket (yeah I know, try explaining that to a community group living hand to mouth).

    my main objection with the expenditure is that the airfares were roundtrip rather than one-way. I think I will ask my MP to table a written commons question, ‘Will the SoS (and associated zipper lickers) fly by way of the Bermuda Triangle on the next USA junket, sorry, important peace mission?’.

  • I happened to be perrousing the U.S. congresses Foreign AId bill and I noticed the provisions for the Anglo-Irish agreement, it is quite huge budget from the U.S. coughers. How long is the Agreement in effect, is there an end date to funding or just the rustlings of fiscal conservatives.