Over the past two years, employees at 54 universities spent £204m on corporate credit cards to buy everything from Premier League tickets to days out at the races. Durham University spent £17m, including £2,614 at Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, while Northumbria University spent £2,184 on a “corporate event” at the lapdancing club chain Spearmint Rhino. The Guardian reports.
Staff at the University of Liverpool spent £22,000 at Domino’s Pizza, while workers at City, University of London ran up a £23,790 bill in two pubs. An employee at Queen Mary University of London even used its card to pay a litter fine.
The 54 institutions that replied to freedom of information requests by the Sun newspaper have received £1.2bn in public funds in 2017 and 2018.
Not all universities responded to the request. Oxford refused to break down its expenses but said in total it spent £11m. The University of Bristol said it could not respond in case doing so caused distress to staff.
Northumbria University said the strip club payment was “reimbursed promptly” and was made “following” a corporate event its staff attended.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers and students will foot most of the bill for these questionable purchases. They deserve a clear explanation. Students will be appalled at how little universities seem to care about their money.”
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