TAXPAYER-FUNDED Christmas parties look set to be abolished.
Kirklees Council this week voted to drop its hospitality allowance, which allows political parties to spend £2,500 a year on food and drink for social events.
The motion was proposed at the monthly council meeting by the Green Party, which has never used its allowance.
Party leader Clr Andrew Cooper criticised the Conservatives for not voting for the hospitality allowance to be abolished.
The Newsome councillor said: “No-one would stand up and argue against the motion but when it came to the vote the Conservatives failed to support the motion and abstained.
“I don’t understand why a party that says it’s interested in good management of public expenditure would be so anxious to hang on to its beer money.”
But Conservative deputy leader Clr Martyn Bolt said the hospitality allowance could only be decided when next year’s budget is set.
The Mirfield man said: “We didn’t abstain, we just didn’t vote.
“The motion didn’t have any teeth; it called on the council to abolish the hospitality allowance but the time to decide that is when the budget is set in February.”
Clr Bolt added that the hospitality allowance was not simply for Christmas parties, but also for providing tea and coffee in meetings with other agencies like Metro and British Waterways.
“It’s basic British hospitality,” he said.
Clr Bolt added that the biggest hospitality bill was for the mayor’s annual dinner – hosted this year by Green councillor Julie Stewart-Turner.