Cash strapped UK Govt. departments castigated for spending 780,000 pounds on flowers

March 16th, 2009 - 5:22 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar. 16 (ANI): British Cabinet ministers have come under fire for spending nearly 780,000 pounds on flowers in the last four years, when UK citizens are struggling with the economic downturn. The business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson was severely criticized for spending more than 2,000 pounds a month on blooms since his return to the cabinet. It seems an extraordinary amount when the rest of the country is feeling the pinch. Peter Mandelson should be putting his energy into protecting business, not into decorating his office, the Sunday Telegraph quoted, Conservative MP Jeremy Hunt, as saying. Figures obtained by the Tories disclose that the Department for Children, Schools and Families ran up the largest bill of 174,600 pounds on potted plants and cut flowers. The Foreign Office came second by spending 106,053 pounds. The money was spent on providing floral arrangements for official dinners and events, and bouquets for visiting dignitaries such as Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, France’’s first lady. When times are tough, it is crazy that the Government is spending so much on pot plants. Each department needs to think carefully about whether this sort of spending can be justified. People up and down the country will be outraged at this waste of taxpayers” money. When everyone is struggling to get by splashing out such vast sums on pot plants is a complete waste, the shadow culture secretary Hunt, who obtained the figures through parliamentary questions, said. Others spending heavily on flowers include the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which paid out 79, 871 pounds. The Department of Heath has spent 15,000 pounds since last April. (ANI)

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