UK Government officials spend £48,337 on first-class rail tickets and bill the public.

March 7, 2011

In a great piece of logistical and geographical planning, the Government Department of International Development (DfiD) has two offices; one in London and one in East Kilbride, Scotland. A nice clean round trip of 800 miles. In the first 6 months of 2010 a handful of government officials – who incidentally haven’t been named – bought 404 first class tickets for the 6-hour journey clocking up £48, 337 in ticket sales on route. Being government officials and obviously too good to sit in the horrendous cattle stalls out back, they charged the tickets to you, the tax payer (Telegraph politics for more). They are too good to sit with you but they are not too good to spend your money on Virgin wine and the nice table lamps that first class offers up. They also had the luxury of drinking their coffee from real china cups, not those plastic monstrosities.

A standard ticket – according to the www.thetrainline.com – between London Euston and East Kilbride costs £114.90. A first class tickets knocks the counter up to £436. What exactly do you get for 4-times the price, apart from the aforementioned table lamp and wine? Maybe it’s quieter? Perhaps the officials who had to make the journey preferred the colour scheme up in first class? The wi-fi reception is better? Whatever it is that made the upgrade so necessary 404 times, cost nearly £50.000 that wasn’t theirs. Is there a feeling of such overpowering hubris that drives politician after politician to abuse their position and travel through life at a station above their calling? Is the seat so much more comfortable, the view so much clearer, the air so much more breathable that taking the 8.15am to East Kilbride is, without doubt, a first class affair for these men? If you want to travel in a bigger seat politicians, pay for it yourself.

What makes the arrogance even more difficult to stomach is that some ministers had ignored travel requests imposed at the same time. Indeed, in May of 2010, Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell actually banned first class travel after taking office (we like him. We don’t like that it took so long for such an obvious ban to be imposed.) His demands obviously fell on some deaf ears.

We would like to take the blame for fat men taking advantage of their positions and having a free lunch on you.

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4 Responses to UK Government officials spend £48,337 on first-class rail tickets and bill the public.

  1. zozo de l'espace on March 7, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    nice train

  2. thechef on March 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    glad you like it.

  3. Christian Bryant on March 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me how unethical certain people can be, especially when someone else is footing the bill. I could write so much on this but I will leave it there. Very thought provoking blog!

  4. thechef on April 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    And the most unethical normally sit at the top of the food chain.

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