GSD Says Government “Needs to Economise on Travel”
The GSD has said that, given the current state of public finances it is important to “find economies where possible.” The party has today written to the Chief Minister in his capacity as Minister for Finance to review travel policies asking that Ministerial and Parliamentary travel on short-haul flights be undertaken on an economy basis.
A statement continued: “Given the amount of Ministerial travel and accompanying officials this will potentially save hundreds of thousands of pounds and should be adopted as a practice until the public finances are in better shape. At a time when Government are projecting losses of £1 million a week this makes sense.”
Roy Clinton the GSD Shadow Minster for Public Finance wrote the following to the Chief Minister:
“If there is one matter that both sides of the House agreed on at the last Budget debate was that ‘every penny counts’. I would thus expect that an exercise would have been undertaken to identify all areas in which it was possible to achieve simple economies.
“I was thus surprised to find as a Parliamentary delegate to the forthcoming CPA BIMR Branch conference to be held in Belfast later this month that delegates have been booked on Club class tickets with British Airways.
“Whereas I cannot comment on past practice for CPA travel I would have thought that as we face a loss of £1 million a week this financial year such short-haul flights should be booked as Economy tickets. I thus ask that all the Club class tickets for Parliamentary delegates be refunded and reissued as Economy.
“The Government should of course extend this to include all Ministerial travel, which is where the big expense is incurred, during this period of financial crisis. Members of Parliament need to set an example on how to achieve economies at this time of difficulty in our public finances.”