Shadow Treasure Chief Secretary reacts to spending as jobs are cut.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been slated for its “luxurious” spending in 2011 amidst job cuts in the sector, with more than £1million spent on items including gym memberships, dry cleaning and jewellery.
The figures were released by the Shadow Treasury Chief Secretary Rachel Reeves, who revealed that amidst restaurant trips, days out at amusement parks and arts and crafts equipment, £8,769 was spent on jewellery.
Reeves told the Sun newspaper: “I have been shocked. Why isn’t the PM checking where hard-earned taxpayers’ money is spent?”
The release comes as MoD bosses attempt to make £4.7billion of savings during the next four years. As a result, an increasing number of redundancies are taking place in the armed forces, with a potential 2,500 soldiers set to lose their jobs this year, with an official announcement due to be made by the MoD tomorrow.
A number of MoD workers have reacted to the claims of luxury spending after a story was posted on the Daily Mail website last week.
One anonymous user wrote: “I’m a civil servant working for the MoD and there is absolutely no way we would get reimbursed for those things mentioned above, apart from meals when on detached duty…and even then, we have to have receipts otherwise we won’t be reimbursed. Where do you get these so-called "facts" from Daily Mail? …Could you please tell me where such luxuries in the MoD exist; I would like to transfer.”
Last year the MoD held an auction to raise funds, offering everything from boats to a dentists chair, as well as fine watches and jewellery.
The clear out of “non-essential items of kit” took place last summer and included a Maurice Lacroix gent’s Miros Coussin chronograph, a ladies Dior Christal chronograph set with a diamond-set bezel and black lacquer face and a Raymond Weil Tango chronograph.