ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY MONEY MONEY

Shroud of secrecy as Sturgeon rejects request to publish costs of taxpayer funded EU trips

NICOLA Sturgeon’s government has rejected a request
to publish details of how much her taxpayer funded EU junkets are
costing the UK taxpayer.

PUBLISHED:
04:38, Sat, Aug 27, 2016

| UPDATED: 12:34, Sat, Aug 27, 2016

Ms Sturgeon has been travelling to lay out her position on the EUGETTY

Ms Sturgeon has been travelling to lay out her position on the EU

And the Scottish Government is six months behind publishing up to date information on how they are spending their devolved £33billion budget.
Ms
Sturgeon, 46, has been travelling across Europe without a mandate to
negotiate since the results of the EU referendum in June.
She has travelled to Germany and Brussels to hold talks with EU leaders at the expense of the British public.
She has also spent time in London trying to rally support as well as holding talks in Edinburgh at a cost to the taxpayer. 
Ms Sturgeon is coming under scrutiny over the spending of public money GETTY

Ms Sturgeon is coming under scrutiny over the spending of public money

However, Holyrood has rejected a Freedom of Information request from a member of the public to outline the costs of the trips.
And
the Scottish Government is not publishing up to date information on
where they are spending the £33bn they are given each year to carry out
their devolved duties.
Ms Sturgeon has been arguing
that she has a mandate to negotiate on Europe despite the rules
governing the Scotland Act of 1998 which set out the devolved
government’s legislative powers.
She has already been
told by the UK Government that she will have no direct part in the
negotiation of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European
administration. 
However, that has not stopped her
contacting leaders including Luxembourgish politician Jean Claude Junker
to arrange her own meetings which some believe to be in breach of
international law.
It is unknown who travelled with the First Minister as she jetted to Europe to hold talks she has no mandate to discuss. 
Ms Sturgeon and her husband the CEO of the SNP have been travelling a lot GETTY

Ms Sturgeon and her husband the CEO of the SNP have been travelling a lot

When it’s taxpayers’ money being spent on these trips then
we have a right to know how much is being spent, and they need to
publish this data now
Murdo Fraser, Tory Finance spokesman in Scotland
Ms Sturgeon even arranged a press conference at UK taxpayer’s expense when she went to Germany and appeared on television. 
The Scottish Government has made a commitment to publish data on its website that shows what their trips cost the taxpayer.
The
website states: “The Scottish Government has adopted the practice of
publishing on a monthly basis three months in arrears details of
engagements carried out by ministers.” 
However they have not updated their information for more than six months.
Ms Sturgeon is known to travel by business class and limousine during her frequent jaunts both in and out of the UK.
Since becoming First Minister after the resignation of Alex Salmond in 2014, she has flown all over the world.

Ms Sturgeon has also visited New York, China, Srebrenica and France as well as London on numerous occasions.

Ms Sturgeon has travelled the world at the expense of the UK taxpayer GETTY

Ms Sturgeon has travelled the world at the expense of the UK taxpayer

Now Tory shadow cabinet secretary for finance, Murdo Fraser is demanding the Scottish Government publish this information immediately.
He said: “It’s clear that the Scottish Government are failing to live up to their own standards.
“They
should be publishing details of these trips on a regular basis, but
instead they’re hiding the information in the hope that people lose
interest.
“When it’s taxpayers’ money being spent on
these trips then we have a right to know how much is being spent, and
they need to publish this data now.”
In
response to the FOI request the Scottish Government said: “To
summarise, on 29 July, the First Minister travelled to Brussels for a
series of meetings
with senior figures to set out Scotland’s position following the result
of the EU referendum, and to ensure Scotland’s voice is heard in the
negotiation process. 
“During a full day of
engagements, the First Minister met the President of the European
Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as the President of the
European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and a number of political groups in
the European Parliament. 
“The First Minister also held a press conference for a group of international journalists. 
“In
response to your request for information about the travel costs
associated with any trips, while our aim is to provide information
whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the
information you have requested because an exemption under section 27(1)
(information intended for future publication) of FOISA applies to that
information.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government told
Express.co.uk: “We are transparent about Ministerial engagements and
routinely publish this information online. The latest information will
be published in due course.”

from Blogger http://ift.tt/2c047Y7
via IFTTT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *