Taxpayers pick up the bill as Welsh Labour Government use credit cards to spend over £1.5m on indulgences

The Welsh Conservatives have obtained data showing £1,554,158.57 was spent by Welsh Government officials in 2017/18, including £964 at Zip World.

In the last financial year, £182,811 was spent on flights and a further £100,000 on luxury accommodation. This includes £103.65 spent on accommodation at Ruthin Castle Hotel where the Welsh Government lost a half-million pound investment when it went into administration in 2014.

In a gross act of hypocrisy, over £10,000 was spent on journeys with cab firm Uber, double the amount spent the previous year, despite the Welsh Labour Government’s criticism of the firm.

In addition, nearly £2,500 was used to cover the cost of luxury travel and limousines, £1,226 was spent on sailing and the Yachtshop, and £263 paid for alcohol as an upscale wine shop in New York.

The figures also showed subscriptions to Amazon Prime and iTunes were charged to the Welsh taxpayer, as well as purchases at Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, and KFC, among other establishments.

Despite past Welsh Conservative criticism of Welsh Government spending in Michelin Starred restaurant James Sommerlin, they spent £325 on two events there again. A 40-day aged sirloin costs £32.

This is not the only top restaurant frequented by Welsh Government officials: a whopping £1692 was frittered away at Benjamin’s Steakhouse in one day and £434 was spent in one go at the Sunken Hundred Bar and Restaurant.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Finance Secretary Nick Ramsay AM, said:

“To see the Welsh Labour Government complaining about the need to be more responsible with public money because of the mess their party created in Westminster when ministers and officials treat public money with such a casual disregard is hypocrisy.

“When those in Welsh Government travel, home or abroad, it is accepted that they will need a hotel and buy food – but luxury accommodation and expensive restaurants? That’s just self-indulgent.

“The people of Wales expect the money paid into the public purse to be spent wisely, and they will not tolerate such flagrant spending any longer.”

Details of the above can be found at https://beta.gov.wales/welsh-government-procurement-card-spend-data-2017-2018