Sustainable Development Commission credit card spending revealed

In the latest in our series uncovering spending on credit cards by Britain’s wasteful quangos, we expose £185k of spending between April 2009 and March 2011 at the Sustainable Development Commission. This is further evidence that the decision to abolish this quango was the correct one, in the process saving taxpayers’ millions of pounds.

Last week, Chris Daniel wrote about the Government’s decision to publish spending on GPCs over £500. As this research shows, the Government should go further and publish all spending on credit cards to catch all wasteful spending. It must surely be easier to publish a whole credit card statement, as opposed to going through them and removing spending under £500.

The key findings include:

  • More than £14,000 spent on 4* Hotels, including the Hilton Grosvenor in Edinburgh and the Thistle Hotel in Kensington Gardens.
  • More than £10,000 spent on air travel and £62,000 on trains with the total travel bill totalling £80,000.
  • £299 paid to the Royal College of Music.
  • £1,483 paid to Apple Computers.
  • £750 to ‘The Adam Pottery’ in Edinburgh.
  • £135.30 at “Forget-Me-Knott” a glass engraving specialist.
  • £448 on RSPB images.
  • £200 to Scottish Whisky Heritage and £216 on Scotch Malt.

Responding to the findings, our Director Matthew Sinclair said:

“This outrageous spending is yet more evidence that the Sustainable Development Commission was anything but sustainable. It was an unaccountable quango that milked taxpayers while arguing against economic growth. With the commission now consigned to scrapheap, taxpayers will be thankful that there is one less pointless quango racking up ludicrous bills on credit cards by spending on luxury hotels and flights abroad. Government procurement cards can be a great way to ensure there is more transparency in public spending, but those using them should be responsible and remember who pays the bills.”

Download the data here

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