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2011 Ebrill 23 1:28 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will expose an example of the waste and inefficiency of Labour and Plaid Cymru in government on each day of the Welsh general election campaign

Back in 2009, the Labour-Plaid government came under fire from business leaders and politicians for spending more than £300,000 on staff "away-days" during the economic downturn.

Among the most expensive individual events, revealed by FOI were:

  • an away-day for human resources staff at the Miskin Manor - a luxury hotel on the outskirts of Cardiff - costing £16,177
  • a health department meeting to "improve effectiveness", which cost the taxpayer £11,024.57;
  • visits by members of the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service to the Falcondale Mansion Hotel, Lampeter, at a cost of £6,124.45.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Alyn and Deeside Assembly Candidate Pete Williams said:

"It is quite shocking that the Labour-Plaid government spent this amount of money on expensive staff 'away-days' at luxurious venues when families and businesses were struggling at the height of our country's financial problems.

"Away-days can be productive and morale-boosting but they don't need to take place at huge expense. £300,000 is a large sum of money so taxpayers should expect that as public budgets tighten, the Labour-Plaid government tightens its purse strings too.

"These figures suggest an open-wallet approach to civil service organisational development. When every family, charity and business is having to make every pound stretch that little bit further, Wales needs a government that does the same.

"Labour and Plaid Cymru have turned waste, incompetence and inefficiency into an art form."