An investigation found British councilors spent millions of pounds on luxuries from credit cards financed by taxpayers.
Among the expenditures were first class travel and accommodations in five-star hotels, buying llamas that cost £1,150, a little group of sheep and fish for a council pound that charged £575 on credit cards. This was headed by the Horsham Council in West Sussex.
The data was obtained using a Freedom of Information request.
Town hall chiefs have been told to slash lavish spending, but continue to waste thousands of tax-payer funds on luxuries such as pricey electronic gadgets (ipads and videos games), vacation tours and dinners at expensive restaurants like Michelin and Claridges – all while cutting back jobs.
Leisure trips alone cost more than £2m in total; counting air travels to Thailand, Kenya and Bermuda, and hotel accommodations at the most expensive five star hotels; Athens Hilton, Pan Pacific Singapore, and Four Seasons New York.
The total also included booking tables during award functions, champagne parties, and pork roasts.
A further £300,000 was splurged on online shopping at a general-goods retailer, £150,000 for products bought at Amazon, and another £500,000 on Tiffany jewelry, Gucci merchandise & silk ties.
Councils have used taxpayer-backed plastics of up to £40m. In total, councils are believed to have spent approximately £100m in luxuries during an expenditure exposé of over £500, which implied other expenses in lower-priced items or services were still not declared.
White hall executives gasped with surprised upon knowing of the total credit card sum; one source declared “another MPs-expense style” swindle may be on the rise.
The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles was accused of overlooking the councils’ practices whose spending was called “wild”. In a statement, he said, “It appears that for years, some councils have been enjoying the high life paid for by you and me.”
He hopes after the spending cost exposé, the “culture of wild overspends and excess”, which “had become the norm under Labour, will become a thing of the past.”
252 councils who were called upon failed to publish their credit card bills despite instructions from the Communities Secretary to issue all costs beyond £500 by January.