Monday, 21 January 2013

The Great Olympic Ticket Fiasco (5)

What I love best about the 2012 Olympics is that even now we're into 2013, it still refuses to go away...

With all the shit that's been going down in Algeria, I might be forgiven for thinking that maybe this is just a good time to bury bad news - so I thought that as the public spirited sort of chap I am, I really should make an effort to bring this story to the public's attention.

Seems that our illustrious Government splashed out nearly £1.2million of taxpayers' money on tickets for the Olympic and Paralympic Games so ministers and civil servants could watch for free.

Whilst the public scrambled to get hold of tickets 8,641 seats were bought up with taxpayers money. 60 seats were given gratis to coalition ministers. Former Treasury minister Lord Sasson received the most expensive ticket among his colleagues when he was handed a £725 seat at the athletics. He and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore were also given £1,500 tickets for the closing ceremony.

Now I can understand that the most senior members of the government, such as the Prime Minister, might be actually required to put in an official appearance during the course of the games, but why people like Andrew Mitchell, Justine Greening, Baroness Warsi, Alistair Burt, John Bercow, Francis Maude, and David Willetts?

Why couldn't they buy their own tickets instead of creaming it off us?

Of the 8,641 tickets purchased, around 4,000, costing £916,000, were paid for and distributed by central Government. Of the rest, some 2,800 were bought by people connected with the games and 224 by Visit Britain. Well, at least they paid for them

But then Local Government bought up 2,020 tickets using ratepayers' money.

And don't even start me on the £349,153 spent entertaining 503 guests at receptions before the opening and closing ceremonies. Now some of this might be justifiable, but the vast majority of it is just yet another case of our elected representatives taking the piss.

Like I said, a good day to bury bad news??

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