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September 7, 2017

I FOUND myself filling in a curious Cardiff University questionnaire yesterday on what practical barriers – including financial – prevent me from standing as a prospective candidate for the Welsh Assembly or of even thinking of doing so in the future.
Today, I found myself feeling furious about a report telling me that bespoke credit cards had been used by civil servants at Cardiff Bay on fine dining, chocolates, limousines and even sexy lingerie when there are homeless people on the streets of our cities begging for food and drink.
Welsh Conservative finance secretary Nick Ramsay said: “The bill for Welsh Government credit cards is out of control, with staff spending more and more each year.”
He claims that £7.5 million had been spent on the authority’s cards, known officially as procurement cards, in the five years since 2011 including £103.91 at lingerie store Victoria’s Secret, although that had been repaid after a presumably “undercover” investigation found that the silk scanties were bought fraudulently.
Items put on expenses included:
1, More than £200,000 on flights.
2, More than £5,000 on Uber.
3, More than £3,000 on yachting and boating.
4, More than £8,000 on wining and dining including at a swish Dubai venue.
5, More than £350 on bespoke chocolates.
6, More than £350 on whisky.
A spokesman for the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Government said the cards were used by civil servants for “official business reasons”.
The official told the Western Mail: “The issue of procurement cards is tightly controlled and there are strict rules in place to ensure every transaction is logged and accounted for.”

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