Stat of the day: £1,000

The amount paid by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills paid to a company supplying pet products

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Details of all Government department spending over £25,000 since the general election have been published, and it makes for some interesting reading. A huge chunk (£200m to be precise) has gone on consultants, PR and marketing - although, let’s be fair, it’s not as if the government didn’t need it, and it’s clearly been, er, useful (we won’t mention Cameron’s U-turn over hiring a personal photographer and the other ‘vanity staff’ who are on the public payroll).

Among the smaller amounts, there are some rather more unusual choices. A pet products firm benefitted from a cash injection of more than £1,000 from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, while £881 went to a yoga company. No details of exactly what those payments were for, but we presume it's growth. Or perhaps Vince Cable's pooch needed a new wardrobe...

Meanwhile a hefty £26,302.68 was spent by the Cabinet Office on a 'difficult conversation workshop'. According to the firm’s website, the training helps staff have ‘increased confidence and ability to have difficult conversations at all levels’. No doubt the advice won’t be needed for exchanges in the House of Commons - but it might come in handy when forced to speak to members of the general public. One can't help but think back to Gillian Duffy...

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