It has been made public that the Ministry of Defence spent a lot of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money on car rentals and hotel rooms. According to The Sunday People, the Ministry of Defence spent over £180 million on things like car hire, hotels and even Sky Sports subscriptions. In fact, the report showed that the department actually signed off on over £3,000 worth of Sky Sports subscriptions.
In just four years, between 2009 and 2013, the Ministry of Defence was said to have spent at least £110 million on hotels. This amount was up nearly £3 million. Not only that, but the Ministry was also spent nearly £70 million on car hire. This was done by staying in luxury hotels and renting high-performance sports cars.
The chief executive of the Ministry of Defence, Andrew Manley, had a total bill of £5,500 alone. He got this bill by staying nearly 50 nights in the luxury New Hall Hotel and Spa located in Coldfield, West Midlands. Another member of the Ministry of Defence, Bernard Gray, had a bill of £23,000, which he racked up after staying over 100 nights in luxury hotels in London and Bristol.
It is odd to see someone like Manley spend all of the taxpayers’ money since he makes around £200,000 a year and could easily pay for his hotel rooms himself. Despite this, he decided to stay in hotels that cost around £155 a night. The hotel he stayed at the most was just a few miles away from the DIO headquarters.
Gray even has more explaining to do. He claimed over £23,000 on hotels after staying in hotels 106 times. This is despite the fact that his house is located only 60 miles away from both London and Bristol, which are the areas he visits the most. Lots of Brits drive that far to work and back home every day. On top of this, Gray is given a car and a driver so that he can continue working while he is making his car ride.
Although the Armed Forces has received very high budget cuts over the years, the Ministry of Defence has seen an increase of £3 million in its hotel budget. This means that the government is actually giving them more money so that they can stay at hotels more often if they choose.
Matthew Sinclair, the chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said that the Ministry of Defence cannot afford to simply squander away huge sums of money on luxury hotels. The taxpayers expect that the money they give the Ministry of Defence is used to protect them. They do not want their money spent on hotels, spas and Sky Sports subscriptions.
This high amount of spending is odd since the Armed Forces is facing a huge budget cut. In fact, the government says that this is the biggest budget cut that the Armed Forces has received since the end of the Second World War. Right now the number of troops the UK has is being reduced, pay has been cut, and a number of warships and tanks are being scrapped. However, the top dogs at the Ministry of Defence can still, apparently, rent top-performance sports cars.