Monday, September 13, 2010


Most of us if we were responsible for looking after funds to help the poor wouldn't use the funds to enjoy a lavish lifestyle. Then again, most of us aren't quangocrats either who didn't think twice about billing the taxpayer for a £700 a head lunch.

HIGHLY paid executives at an anti-poverty quango have stayed at five-star hotels and dined in top restaurants at the taxpayer’s expense.
Damning documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal eye-watering expenses claims by officials at the Commonwealth Development Corporation.
Taxpayers were billed for a £700 dinner by Sir Malcolm Williamson, the CDC’s chairman for five years up until 2009, at London’s Michelin-starred L’Autre Pied restaurant.
Another executive at the Government quango, Anubha Shrivastava, claimed £530 for a night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong, while Richard Laing, the chief executive, who is paid £970,000 a year, claimed £7,414 in expenses.
The CDC was set up after the war to invest in the world’s poorest countries. It has access to Government funds of £2.5billion.
For the past 15 years, the CDC says it has been “self-financing”. It is owned by the Department for International Development, but any profits it makes are “reinvested” in its projects. It has been criticised for departing from its original remit by targeting the rapidly growing economies of China and India.
Last night the department confirmed that International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell had launched an “urgent review” of the situation.
John Hilary, executive director of the charity War on Want, said: “CDC has completely abandoned its mandate of poverty reduction in favour of wealth creation. It is a travesty.” However, Miriam de Lacy, the CDC’s communications director, said: “The expenses we incur are reasonable.”
 Reasonable expenses? £2.5 billion budget and they squander some of it on themselves, spending more than a years wage for an unskilled Kenyan worker (£500 to £700pa) on a meal or hotel room.
Whilst I'm a great believer in charity beginning at home, if we are to help the poor in other countries, I expect the cash to go to them and whilst I don't expect those charged with distributing it to work for nothing, I do expect them to keep expenses to a minimum, I don't expect them to squander it on themselves. Though frankly I'm not that surprised that they do, profligacy in quango's is a well known corruption and these people are plainly corrupt to the core.
Just another justification for a bonfire of the quango's that the current government never seems to get around too despite all their promises.

4 annotations:

tris said...

Both Labour and the Tory-Liberal Party have agreed that the funding for aid should be ring fenced while we are cutting police, welfare, defence etc.

When two sides usually bitterly opposed agree on something which is clearly contentious with the public you have to question again your doubts.

However, as I understand it, the G8 membership is dependent upon the agreed percentage of GDP being given as aid. Now Cameron (and brown before him) would not want to be dumped from the G8, although seriously there is little realistic chance that, by any other measure, broke Britain should be a member of that big boys’ club. So, that would explain the desire to hold the sums at the level they are at, while our pensioners freeze and they don’t give a stuff.

Again there are arguments about aid being better targeted, but it’s a hard not to agree that “stupid white men” rarely have much comprehension of what is needed in Africa, or Asia. Of course there’s always weapons... We sell them lots of weapons and, as they can’t afford weapons, we give them the aid to pay for them.

One thing I think we can definitely agree on is that what should not be ring fenced is greedy despicable fat cats feeding their greedy fat faces and guzzling wine on money that was taken from hard pressed UK tax payers to help people in, at least a good percentage of cases, comparatively worse situations even than Brits find themselves in.

There are people in Pakistan who are dying because it rained very heavily and the rivers flooded. More than the whole population of the UK have lost everything. There are people in Niger who after years of drought, experienced floods that took the little they had away. And this heap of shit was feeding itself on our money destined for them and at £700 a time.

I’m so angry about this that I’m having trouble with my vocabulary. But let’s just say that I would very much like to put “mon autre pied” right up their “trous de cul!

They should probably be taken to court for theft. They should definitely be terminated as a company; their money stopped immediately. Personally I’d like to see how they feel about porridge, or how they would feel about being dropped penniless in Niger, without a passport, and see how they survive by begging for aid.

They are scum. I trust they rot in hell. Of course as this is Britain and as they are in the top pay bracket (£900,000 for the CEO) I expect that they may be paid off with a golden parachute and a massive pension which you and I will pay for, while our pensions melt away.

It’s comforting to know that we are all in this together.

Well done to the international aid minister for spotting it and doing something about it.

Anonymous said...

"HIGHLY paid executives at an anti-poverty quango"

Job done, they certainly eradicated poverty from themselves...

Trooper Thompson said...

They should be tarred and feathered, then pushed off the end of a pier.

I'm sure I remember reading about them years ago in Private Eye, so I think this is been going on for a long time.

Anonymous said...

The seven page article in the current Eye gives chapter and verse on this appaling organisation,and indeed they have been exposing there change for the worse for some time.
Worth a read to see how there "raison detre"has changed from mainly helping poverty in really poor countries ,to becoming a fund that makes money anywhere it can for itself,and its allowed to carry on with only minor adjustments ,why isn't just disposed of with all the other useless quangos ?