Money makes the world go round

Edwin Phillips
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Flights for WG ministers are not a knotty problem for those in charge

Revelations tomorrow in The Eye confirm that senior Labour figures condemn their colleagues in the Welsh Government (WG) for taking flights around the world at taxpayers expense, and Edwin Phillips reads a reassuring memo to staff telling them not to worry.

From:  The Head Of Flights.

Flying is vital for the small but perfectly formed Ken Skates

To:  All lowly ground staff.

Everyone should carry on a stable flight path.

Ignore critical reports from hostile bodies that the Welsh First Minister (Carwyn Jones) and his aides spent almost £48,000 on two trips to America, taking in Atlanta, Chicago, New York and Washington DC.

Or that the esteemed minister Ken Skates and an official attended Euros football matches in Toulouse and Paris over five days at a cost to the taxpayer of £3,232, and also went to Chongqing and Shanghai in China at a cost to the taxpayer of £17,842.

Ooh – flying to see us play is so important

He is the ‘Economy’ Secretary but we can’t expect him to go ‘economy’ on EasyJet like one so-called allied pilot suggested, can we?

Small joke there, to keep up morale among ground crew.

It is obviously crucial to fly the flag for Wales at these events.

It was clearly vital that the Health Secretary Vaughan Gething, also accompanied by an official went to Entebbe in Uganda, for the “10th Anniversity of Wales for Africa”, charging £16,582.

Flying can be dangerous

How else would Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths, and another policy official get to Dubai unless we paid for her flights at a cost of £6,563?

We would be shot down in flames if we said they were too costly and unnecessary!

Anyway those at headquarters in the WG know there is a pattern in these things.

In December 2015 the levels of pay for those at ‘high-altitude’ were given to passengers otherwise known as unfortunate taxpayers on the ground.

Ministers and officials must be treated with respect

Flight papers secured through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request showed how civil servants earned salaries then of almost £200,000 a year on average, and an adviser was paid more than double the average wage.

At the head of the pay formation at the time of take-off was Andrew Goodall the Chief Executive of the NHS in Wales, and Ruth Hussey, the Chief Medical Officer, who were both on between £195,000 and £200,000.

Money to organise tourism in Wales. Yeah!

Manon Antoniazzi, formerly a co-pilot known as Williams, the head of tourism was on between £90,000 and £95,000.

I am sure all ground crew will agree these pay levels for our high-flying pilots are entirely justified.

Ignore critical fire from enemy aircraft like The Eye that at the time the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people in the Gwent Valleys had disposable incomes per head of just £13,452 a year, while even in relatively prosperous areas like Monmouthshire or Newport, it was still only £15,794.

This is completely irrelevant and is designed to distract pilots from their busy flight schedule.

In our Journalism section – more exclusive details about crooked Welsh property ‘expert’ exposed by us






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