Anti-poverty bosses face review over ‘lavish’ expenses

By staff

Executives at the taxpayer-funded Commonwealth Development Corporation are facing a review after media reports exposed “lavish” expenses claims.

A £336 taxi ride from Brussels to Paris, £700 for dinner at a Michelin star restaurant and £530 for a single night at a Hong Kong hotel were among the expenses submitted by the anti-poverty quango’s bosses, the Daily Mail newspaper reported.

The CDC controls £2.5 billion of taxpayers’ money and invests in private-sector projects around the world.

Its executives will have to explain themselves to government officials as an ongoing review of the organisation is confronted with today’s headlines.

“Lavish expenses are completely unacceptable,” a Department for International Development spokesperson said.

“The secretary of state has set up a review of all aspects of CDC’s work, including pay and remuneration, to ensure their investments help the poorest and provide real value for money for the taxpayer.”

The spokesperson emphasised the review had been triggered before the Mail’s revelations, however.

DfID’s budget and the NHS are the only areas of public spending which have been protected from impending cuts set to be announced in next month’s comprehensive spending review.