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Government cards buy doughnuts

Luxury hotels, doughnuts and even flying lessons are among the items paid for using Government credit cards since the coalition came to power.

Staff at public bodies also spent thousands of pounds on taxis and orthopaedic equipment, as well as buying items from iTunes.

The details emerged as the Government published a mass of material on procurement card transactions worth over £500 from this financial year.

Some bodies have gone further and given information on all purchases.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude insisted more stringent controls on use of the cards - including a crackdown on first-class travel - had brought spending on cards down by £45 million to £341 million in the first year of the coalition Government.

Officials at the Department for Transport stayed at a variety of high-class hotel chains between April and August this year, including Sheraton, Hilton and Intercontinental.

More than £4,000 went on orthopaedic kit from a firm called Posturite.

There was also a bill of £1,335.65 for "flying training" in May, and another £616.28 to Cabair Flying Schools in August. A DfT spokeswoman said: "A valid pilot's licence is required by a number of inspectors employed by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch as part of their work. This requires regular training to ensure these licences remain up-to-date."

Records from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport show taxi firm Addison Lee was paid £1,886.71 in May, £1,756.12 in June, and £1,412.64 in July.

Sweet-toothed officials at the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) spent £172.70 at The Cake Store in July and £54.30 at Krispy Kreme on March 30. The following day, the agency used the card to spend £247.75 at Dominos and £157.88 at Marks & Spencer.


From Belfast Telegraph