A freedom of information request has revealed almost £750,000 has been spent maintaining a Parliamentary creche that is used by only 15 children, the Daily Mail reports.
The costs include £557,322 opening the facility in 2010 and £9,540 in furniture costs. The nursery was opened in a bid to make parliament more “family friendly” and currently employs six people to look after the 15 children. Facilities include two separate fully equipped rooms for children aged under 2 and over 2; a ‘physical playroom’; a sleep room; buggy storage and laundry facilities.
A House of Commons spokesman said: ‘It is normal for any nursery to take time to establish itself. In addition to the current number of regular users, there are 12 children on the waiting list for future start dates”.
MPs and other Parliamentary staff pay £67.50 a day to use the creche, with any financial shortfalls met by the taxpayer.
Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott, who uses the nursery, insisted it was essential for young parents in parliament: “The working hours of MPs are very very long and are extremely unfriendly for families. We could use other childcare providers in London that would probably be cheaper, but they would not be as flexible or understand the working hours of MPs.”
NAMA spend millions on legal proceedings
The National Asset Management Agency has spent more than €27million on legal fees, according to figures released in response to a freedom of information request to the toxic bank, the Daily Mirror reports. A NAMA spokeswoman said “the legal costs incurred in 2010 and 2011 relate to legal due diligence conducted on loans which Nama acquired from the participating institutions. The saving to the State was a large multiple of the legal costs incurred.”