Tourist board scam

By Ciaran Crossey

Socialist Voice March 2002

IT'S TIME to start sorting out your summer holidays. Perhaps you might want to go abroad, what about Spain, Italy, or even New York? A holiday abroad will cost a few pounds/euros, so you'll have to start saving or get a loan arranged. That's true, but not if you work for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Do you fancy getting put up in a good hotel in New York? You do! What about a good lunch with a few friends, at 130 each, with bottles of wine at 40 a go. (a bit expensive for me) In the hotel do you fancy a few in room movies, the use of the spa facilities, or even cigarettes. If you want all this, don't bother saving, just get a job with the NI Tourist Board and they'll pay for it all.

A recent audit office report revealed all this, and more. Just in case the holiday is not enough to persuade you to stay with the Tourist Board, perhaps you can leave. They might throw a 4,856 "going away do" as they did for Ian Henderson, a senior official. When the managers do leave, don't worry for them, they can get a bit of consultancy work. After his 5,000 lunch, Henderson got 34,000 for 120 days "work", that's only 280 a day.

Surely all NI Tourist Board staff can get these wages! All they have to do is ask, yeah! In the South there seems to be a brown envelope culture among some people. In the North it's a bit more upmarket, it's a corporate credit card scam. But sure, they deserve a break all the way to the dole queue.

IT'S TIME to start sorting out your summer holidays. Perhaps you might want to go abroad, what about Spain, Italy, or even New York? A holiday abroad will cost a few pounds/euros, so you'll have to start saving or get a loan arranged. That's true, but not if you work for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Do you fancy getting put up in a good hotel in New York? You do! What about a good lunch with a few friends, at 130 each, with bottles of wine at 40 a go. (a bit expensive for me) In the hotel do you fancy a few in room movies, the use of the spa facilities, or even cigarettes. If you want all this, don't bother saving, just get a job with the NI Tourist Board and they'll pay for it all.

A recent audit office report revealed all this, and more. Just in case the holiday is not enough to persuade you to stay with the Tourist Board, perhaps you can leave. They might throw a 4,856 "going away do" as they did for Ian Henderson, a senior official. When the managers do leave, don't worry for them, they can get a bit of consultancy work. After his 5,000 lunch, Henderson got 34,000 for 120 days "work", that's only 280 a day.

Surely all NI Tourist Board staff can get these wages! All they have to do is ask, yeah! In the South there seems to be a brown envelope culture among some people. In the North it's a bit more upmarket, it's a corporate credit card scam. But sure, they deserve a break all the way to the dole queue.



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