SNP ministers in ‘tandoori taxi’ storm

May 20, 2014 No Comments

Ministers in the Scottish parliament have been accused of being ‘out of touch’ with the public by using ministerial cars for trips to local curry houses.

Health secretary Alex Neil, culture secretary Fiona Hyslop and youth employment minister Angela Constance were driven to The Verandah in Edinburgh last year for example, while international development minister Humza Yousaf was driven home from Cafe India in Glasgow and also visited Khushi’s Indian and Shezan Indian restaurant, both in Edinburgh, using official transport.

Learning, science and languages minister Alasdair Allan was driven from the Parliament to the nearby Mosque Kitchen and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was transported by a minibus hired by the Scottish Government to B Raj Tandoori in Banff.

The SNP administration spends around £1million a year on the Government Car Service, which uses a fleet of chauffeur-driven Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar cars to ferry ministers to thousands of events all over Scotland.

Scottish Labour’s business manager Paul Martin said: “Using official vehicles as nothing more than tandoori taxis is an appalling waste of taxpayers’ money by SNP ministers who think they are above getting the bus or train. Yet they are happy to preach to Scots about cutting their carbon footprint while they keep their chauffeurs sitting outside while they enjoy a curry. It’s a disgrace.”

However, the SNP argues it is acting within the rules. A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Under the terms of the Ministerial Code ministers are entitled to use official cars for ministerial engagements and to travel to and from work. This can be straight from the office or the location of an event that occurs at the end of the working day.”

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