November 12, 2006

More government waste again

The usual hat tip to Wat Tyler

£1bn pa NHS drugs rip-off- " The NHS spends 22 per cent more than France and 28 per cent more than Spain. Critics blame the rip-off on the cosy relationship between health chiefs and the big drug firms - and urge NHS bosses to demand a price cut. Branded medicines make up more than 70 per cent of the NHS drugs bill of £9.25billion - so slashing prices to EU levels could save taxpayers £1billion." (People 12.11.06)

Easy pickings then for the US firm with a colourful past which the NHS proposes to empoly for its purchasing.

£12 grand nibbles for councillors- "PECKISH councillors and council staff munched their way through the equivalent of a £50 buffet spread THREE TIMES a week. Last year taxpayers footed the bill for almost £12,000 worth of finger nibbles and sandwiches... According to the information provided, the borough council spent £11,773 on buffets for 178 events between April 2005 and March 2006. Of these, 150 were devoured exclusively by councillors and staff at a cost of £7,758 - around £51 a pop. Just 28 were also open to the public, accounting for £4,015, or £143 each." (Welwyn & Hatfield Times 8.11.06)

Wat omits the rest of the report. The chief executive at the council, told the paper he didn't think the amount was "extravagant".

He said: "Buffets for councillors and employees usually take place in short lunch breaks during training days or in the evening before meetings, namely at occasions when, if food were not provided, councillors and employees would not have time to eat.

"These buffets take place in a work context, they are not social events. I can assure residents that money is not spent extravagantly."
£200,000 on another boonie for MEPs- "GLENYS KINNOCK, champion of the Third World poor, is to lead 70 members of the European parliament to a Barbados resort for a conference debating development and deprivation. During the five-day trip, costing taxpayers more than £200,000, the MEPs will meet politicians from some of the world’s poorest nations. Kinnock, who co-chairs the African Caribbean Pacific-EU joint parliamentary assembly, will be offered accommodation in the island’s exquisite hotels, including the Amaryllis Beach, Tamarind Cove and Turtle Beach. The assembly kicks off with a “project visit” next Sunday. According to sources at the Barbados embassy in Brussels, this is an EU euphemism for a four-hour chartered cruise aboard the Harbour Master — a 100ft ship billed as “the longest floating bar in the Caribbean”. (Sunday Times 12.11.06)

£1m on police killer's legal aid- "THE terrorist who stabbed police officer Stephen Oake to death has run up a legal aid bill that is about to soar over £1 million - while his victim's family have had just £13,000 in compensation. Kamel Bourgass, who murdered Detective Constable Oake during a raid on a flat where he was plotting a terrifying mass poisoning of Londoners, is launching a second appeal despite overwhelming evidence against him. Half the annual criminal legal aid bill of £1 billion goes on high profile cases such as terrorist trials. A Legal Aid spokesman said yesterday: "We are taking steps to reform the system." (Mirror 10.11.06)

And I am not holding my breath.

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