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Saturday, 3 September 2011

Fancy dress costumes and LibLabCon galas – how the EHRC Quango spends your Taxes

Fancy dress costumes and LibLabCon galas – how the EHRC spends your money

Published by Freedom News
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The infamous Equalities and Human Rights Commission spent more than £35,000 of taxpayers’ money on items such as fancy dress costumes and printed balloons, and sending staff to LibLabCon party functions, the Taxpayers’ Alliance has revealed.

Released EHRC bank statements exposed details of a shopping spree by 400 of the quango’s staff, who were issued with government credit cards allowing them to spend up to £9,500 a month over a two-year period.

Among the costs run up at the taxpayers’ expense between April 2009 and May 2011 were: £367 on fancy dress costumes, £351 on printed balloons, £120 on artists’ easels and £129 on a ‘light therapy’ lamp, which is used to ‘combat acne’.

In addition, EHRC employees enjoyed thousands of pounds worth of first-class rail travel – as well as foreign conferences, luxury hotels and meals at expensive restaurants, including a five-star Hilton hotel in London and the Pont de La Tour restaurant near Tower Bridge.

However, the bulk of the expense – almost £20,000 – went on sending staff to events held by the LibLabCon political elite. In total, the EHRC gave £9,167.62 to the Labour party, £6,145 to the Tories and £4,650 to the Lib Dems.

London British National Party representative Giuseppe De Santis commented: ‘It’s questionable if a government quango is allowed to give taxpayers’ money to political parties, but this may explain why the EHRC is still there, and why the much-vaunted bonfire of the quangos never took place! In actual fact their numbers are increasing.

‘Only the British National Party will stop this unacceptable waste of money by closing down this useless quango and using the money saved to pay for frontline services.’

A damning report issued last month said the EHRC contributes ‘very little to meaningful equality’ despite costing the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds. The report by the Civitas think-tank said that the ‘super’ quango should be abolished and found ‘serious flaws’ in its work.

It was also scathing of the pay and expenses of the Commission’s most senior staff – including its chairman Trevor Phillips, who is paid an extortionate £112,000-a-year salary for three-and-a-half days’ work a week.

A spokesman for the EHRC defended the payments as ‘legitimate expenses’.

But Matthew Sinclair, director of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘We already knew spending was out of control at the EHRC, but now we have further evidence that they are wasting taxpayers’ money with thousands of pounds in credit card bills.

‘Every penny wasted unnecessarily on lavish expenses and political campaigning at party conferences is more pressure on families. If the Government want to give taxpayers a better deal, they need to scrap this spendthrift quango.’

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