Thursday, November 29, 2012

Alex Salmond takes SNP politicians and 34 ‘buddies’ on week long golf trip to the USA; cost £468,580, in 'Skintland' people have to face real choice ‘heat or eat’!

Dear All

Does Alex Salmond know that we are living in a time of austerity?

Apparently not judging by the fact that the Scottish Government blew spent almost £500,000 sending him and his ‘entourage’ on a week-long trip to the Ryder Cup in Chicago.

Chicago, Chicago…….. a wonderful town but not £500,000’s worth.

£500,000 for a week!

As well as Salmond himself and SNP politicians, he was accompanied by 12 Scottish government officials and another 22 from VisitScotland and Scottish Development International.

One big party!

Recently £400,000 was blown in three weeks as Alex Salmond set up his London Embassy for the Olympics.

In a written response to the question from Labour, external affairs secretary Fiona Hyslop stated:

“The overall cost of Team Scotland’s participation at the 2012 Ryder Cup was £468,580 and every effort was made to minimise costs, including liaising with partner organisations to secure preferred rates where possible, and identifying in-kind support. The Team Scotland approach in Chicago will help ensure we maximise the economic benefits of hosting the Ryder Cup in 2014, which will generate at least £100 million for the Scottish economy.”

Patricia Ferguson, the Labour MSP, said:

“To find out that Alex Salmond’s trip to watch the golf cost all of us almost half a million pounds is eye-watering. The Welsh government can spend about the same, but attend three Ryder Cups. Why does Alex Salmond cost us so much more? This comes on top of the tens of thousands of pounds spent on his trip to the opening of Brave in California earlier this year. Alex Salmond has no shame. At a time of such severe cuts to public spending and thousands continue to lose their jobs, for [him] to be spending such sums is outrageous.”

Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said:

“Like most taxpayers, I am astonished that the costs incurred bear more relation to a head of state with a travelling circus than to the more modest expense which would have been appropriate and justifiable. It seems that even when using taxpayers’ money, Alex Salmond doesn’t do modest.”

In her answer to the parliamentary question, Ms Hyslop claimed “every effort” was made to minimise costs:

“Ministers carried out an extensive programme of targeted engagement with high-level business, media, tourism and civic leaders, to develop relationships, support potential and existing inward investment in Scotland, and to promote Scotland, as the home of golf, and the host of the 2014 Ryder Cup. The First Minister’s work in Chicago also included a number of business meetings which secured over 140 new jobs and tens of millions in new investment from US based companies who are successfully expanding their operations in Scotland.”

So, it takes circa 36 people to secure 140 new jobs?

Alex Salmond’s government has blew nearly a one million pounds of taxpayers money on three events, the Olympics, Golf trip and watching a cartoon (Brave) in America, in Scotland however, disadvantaged people are suffering severe austerity making the hard choices like ‘heat or eat’.

Just as well Alex Salmond gets a big enough ‘giro’ from the British Government to finance his largesse!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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