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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Was Carwyn's meet-the-people-tour too conveniently timed?

The First Minister's meet-the-people tour has come under fire both for its convenient timing and its cost. It has emerged that nine meetings in places as diverse as Newport, Bangor, Aberystwyth and Carmarthen cost the taxpayer £13,021.90, which works out at £18 for each of the 721 people attending.

The staging of the events cost £7,500 but there is no allowance for staff, as it is argued that the work formed part of their normal duties. Curious then that all these meetings have taken place in the run-up to the Assembly elections and none were scheduled in the previous four years.

In the circumstances it seems that this expenditure could be termed an election expense and questions need to be asked as to why public funds were used. Yes, the Welsh Government do need to engage with the public but surely that should not be confined to the period before an election, but all through its term.
> this expenditure could be termed an election expense
- except that it comes conveniently before the "long campaign" officially starts, on Monday 14th I believe.
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