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Taxpayers foot hefty vehicle hire bill for Nicola Sturgeon US jaunt

San Francisco MinibusA US trip Nicola Sturgeon took in April has left taxpayers with a bill of £6,399 for vehicle hire. The first minister of Scotland spent five-days in the US at the beginning of April with two of her aides and visited New York, California and Stanford University.

The ministerial party utilised the services of San Francisco Minibus for their vehicle hire needs. The bill for the rental was released under the terms of a clause which allows for the publication of any amount exceeding £500 paid for with debit cards issued to the Scottish Government.

Scottish Conservatives finance spokesperson Murdo Fraser said taxpayers were sure to be outraged when they found out a huge chunk of cash had been blown on vehicle hire in California. He claimed that the public was already facing a sizable bill for a trip designed to increase the profile of the Scottish National Party and its aim of forcing a second independence referendum.

Fraser continued with the claim the SNP should be questioned as to whether such a high bill for vehicle hire was a judicious use of public money. He finished off by saying the outcome of last week’s election indicated voters were not interested in the independence issue and wanted a better economy and health care services as well as more education opportunities.

A spokesperson for Government Scotland has responded to the allegations of wasting public money and said travel was integral to promoting the national interest as well as attracting investors. He added that ministers and their assistants tried not to use hire vehicles unless they had to and also looked for cost-effective solutions when it did became necessary.



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