One of the sad aspects of the Bonfire of the Quangos is the demise of the Government Hospitality Advisory Committee for the purchase of Wine. Manned by several Masters of Wine at a paltry cost of about £10,000 a year, plus the services of a fith of one civil servant. The group, who are custodians and advisors on the £2.5 million wine stockpile owned by the State is to be disbanded. I think this is a bad idea. Who, but Masters of Wine are going to determine whether we get value for money? They do the job for free. Their collective annual expenses amounts to rather less than the BBC top executives claim per month. (The latest expenses claims and salary details for senior BBC executives were published on Friday. The figures showed 114 senior executives claiming a total of £50,752 a month.)
Labour spent more on wine, year on year during their term of office.
recorded the following expenditure on new stock for the Government cellar in the previous five years:
| 2003-04|| 93,503|
| 2004-05|| 60,059|
| 2005-06|| 95,264|
| 2006-07|| 108,715|
| 2007-08|| 137,460|
These sums include approximately £33,310 spent on purchasing champagnes over the five year period.
And yet, the Guardian and the Indy and the BBC are all trying to make out it's the wicked old Tory Toffs. Res Ipsa Loquitor.