TaxPayers' Alliance reveals incredible credit card spending at Scottish Enterprise

January 13, 2012 6:00 AM

As part of a campaign for more transparency and accountability in Britain's quangos, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has used Freedom of Information requests (FOI) to uncover the the millions that Scottish Enterprise has spent on credit cards over the last two years, including luxury hotels and restaurants.

Click here to see the full breakdown of Scottish Enterprise credit card spending


The key findings of this research are:

  • A total of £2.3 million was spent from April 2009 to March 2011

  • Of the £526k spent on hotels £391k was on 4*, 5* and 7* hotels

  • £1,373 was spent at the 7* Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi

  • Large amounts were spent at restaurants abroad, including: £1,367 at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong; £3,252 at Bathers Pavilion in Sydney; £5,306 at St. Andrews and £5,187 at Fishtail, both in New York; £5,642 at Brennans in Houston and £2,426 at Restaurante Pedro Larumbe in Madrid

  • £7,612 was spent on fast food; £7,510 on alcohol and £11,887 in bars between April 2009 and March 2011

  • £37,931 was spent at Tesco and £8,417 at ASDA while £1,240 was spent at florists

  • £89 was spent at Fandango, a cinema tickets booking website

  • £207 was spent on party consumables including “party plastic”

  • £17,393 at Amazon, £3,318 at IKEA and £5,119 at B&Q

  • £982 was spent on Cufflinks.com

  • And £183 on teddy bears from the VT Teddy Bear Company in Vermont


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Scottish Enterprise need to explain some of their extravagant credit card bills urgently, as some of this spending appears to be completely inappropriate. Their well-paid chief executive claims they are there to help Scottish businesses, but many will wonder if spending taxpayers' money in luxury hotels and restaurants from Dubai to Hong Kong is a remotely credible way of doing that. Government procurement cards can be an efficient way of paying necessary bills, but there needs to be transparency to ensure the money is spent responsibly and staff remember who pays the bills.”

Click here to see the full breakdown of Scottish Enterprise credit card spending

As part of a campaign for more transparency and accountability in Britain's quangos, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has used Freedom of Information requests (FOI) to uncover the the millions that Scottish Enterprise has spent on credit cards over the last two years, including luxury hotels and restaurants.

Click here to see the full breakdown of Scottish Enterprise credit card spending


The key findings of this research are:

  • A total of £2.3 million was spent from April 2009 to March 2011

  • Of the £526k spent on hotels £391k was on 4*, 5* and 7* hotels

  • £1,373 was spent at the 7* Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi

  • Large amounts were spent at restaurants abroad, including: £1,367 at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong; £3,252 at Bathers Pavilion in Sydney; £5,306 at St. Andrews and £5,187 at Fishtail, both in New York; £5,642 at Brennans in Houston and £2,426 at Restaurante Pedro Larumbe in Madrid

  • £7,612 was spent on fast food; £7,510 on alcohol and £11,887 in bars between April 2009 and March 2011

  • £37,931 was spent at Tesco and £8,417 at ASDA while £1,240 was spent at florists

  • £89 was spent at Fandango, a cinema tickets booking website

  • £207 was spent on party consumables including “party plastic”

  • £17,393 at Amazon, £3,318 at IKEA and £5,119 at B&Q

  • £982 was spent on Cufflinks.com

  • And £183 on teddy bears from the VT Teddy Bear Company in Vermont


Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Scottish Enterprise need to explain some of their extravagant credit card bills urgently, as some of this spending appears to be completely inappropriate. Their well-paid chief executive claims they are there to help Scottish businesses, but many will wonder if spending taxpayers' money in luxury hotels and restaurants from Dubai to Hong Kong is a remotely credible way of doing that. Government procurement cards can be an efficient way of paying necessary bills, but there needs to be transparency to ensure the money is spent responsibly and staff remember who pays the bills.”

Click here to see the full breakdown of Scottish Enterprise credit card spending

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