Friday, May 27, 2011

What spending cuts? PM splashes out £680k of YOUR money on Downing Street - 27th May 2011

The country is toiling under the heaviest ever public spending cuts, but that didn’t stop David Cameron deciding the time was right to lavish £653,192.34 of taxpayers’ money on Downing Street, including £30,000 on No11.

The results of the work he’s had done in the past year were there for all to see this week when through-the-keyhole pictures emerged of the PM and his wife Samantha hosting the Obamas.

However, some may question whether it was right for so much money to be spent on renovation work at a time when the public purse strings have been yanked so tightly shut.

The overall spending figures were seen by The Guardian, which anaylsed the government's official spending records.

They are freely available to members of the public at www.data.gov.uk.

All Prime Ministers are entitled to a £30,000 grant for accommodation, and much of the Cameron's went on a new kitchen.

Samantha Cameron is said to have despaired at the old dark, poky kitchen – which has now, as the world has seen, been transformed into a modern, airy space, with top-of-the-range accessories and gleaming pans.

Some of the remainder went on less visible modernising work such as plumbing and energy efficiency, as well as internal and external renovation work to Downing Street offices.

No10, though, refused to reveal any more information about how the full £653,192.34 was spent.

In a statement to The Guardian, a spokeswoman was keen to point out that ‘no public money was spent on furniture, fittings or accessories’.

However, Tom Watson, the Labour MP for West Bromwich East, who has been a prominent voice in the fight for greater government transparency, argued that the PM was falling far short of expectations. Read More