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Scottish Parliament splurges £14m on credit card bill including £10k Sturgeon airport upgrades as Yousaf orders probe
8 August 2023, 18:05 | Updated: 8 August 2023, 18:09
Scottish Civil Servants spent £14m on a credit card funded by taxpayers in just three years - which included VIP airport upgrades for Nicola Sturgeon and 21 copies of a book about how to run a government.
Scottish Labour have released figures which show that taxpayers have footed the bill of £10,000 for former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's VIP airport treatment alongside other curious purchases.
Civil servants for the Scottish Parliament bought several copies of How To Run A Government So That Citizens Benefit And Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy, alongside six copies of a compilation of Sturgeon's speeches.
Curiously civil servants even had to buy a copy of the Scottish Government's white paper on independence.
Sturgeon's successor Humza Yousaf has ordered a probe into the spending.
Ms Sturgeon's travel arrangements during her time as First Minister were revealed to have involved a VIP firm which allowed her to fast-track herself through check-in and security.
Ace Handling Ltd's promotional material claims that it will "treat you like royalty" in its service which involves being "whisked through the check-in, security procedures, to the VIP lounge, and then to your awaiting flight".
The luxury provider was used 12 times by civil servants on dates that coincide with Sturgeon's official trips to Guernsey, the US, London, and Bristol.
Sturgeon also made use of Platinum Services for a "meet and greet" at Dublin Airport - costing £1,605 and VIP treatment at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam costing a total of £2,217.
Scottish Conservative MSP, Annie Wells, said: “It’s easy to see why the Scottish Government were reluctant to disclose Nicola Sturgeon’s diva-like tastes – but this cover-up is totally unacceptable.
“This was public money – so it is totally wrong that the true figures were not disclosed to taxpayers.
“Now that the truth has emerged, it’s up to Nicola Sturgeon to explain why she felt she deserved to be ‘treated like royalty’ at the public’s expense.
“Some of the spending by Scottish Government staff is equally unacceptable. It’s indefensible that the public should be billed for yoga classes, nail polish, or sun lotion.
“Perhaps if the threshold for declaring expenditure was lowered from the current £500 some of these abuses would be stamped out.”