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Kirsty Williams says public deserve the full story on Assembly Minister's costs

2009 Mehefin 30 11:48 AM

Kirsty Williams says public deserve the full story on Assembly Minister' s costs Following the publication on Monday of all Assembly Member's expenses, Welsh Liberal democrat Leader Kirsty Williams believes the next step towards full transparency is to publish the real costs involved in supporting Welsh Assembly Government Ministers. Kirsty Williams said: "

It's great that the public are able to log on and see the full expenses of any Assembly Member - this transparency means there's nowhere for any Assembly member to hide, which can only be a good thing. But the current system doesn't give taxpayers the full picture of public spending on Assembly Members. If you looked at the travel costs for Rhodri Morgan or Jane Hutt you would see that they have claimed nothing at all, because their travel is provided and paid for directly by the Assembly Government. Taxpayers deserve to have this clearly explained and to see a total spend for ministerial travel, accommodation and food."

Assembly Government ministers are provided with limousines and have hotel accommodation and food costs paid for directly by the Government but the figures are not published alongside Assembly Member expenses. Kirsty Williams continued:

"We know that the costs of ministerial travel and accommodation will be sizeable. Mileage for ministerial car travel increased from 138,291 miles in 07/08 to 260,989 in 2008/9. That sort of mileage doesn't come cheaply* and the fact it's nearly doubled in a year shows what happens when nobody can see the costs involved. All these costs are shouldered by the taxpayer, so it's time we saw Labour and Plaid come clean on the true cost of their Government's activities.> " *£117,445 at 45 pence per mile.