Row over subsidy for Welsh government canteens

Welsh Government criticised for the meal subsidies given to staff canteens

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Stink kicked up over government subsidised meals

Food critics may be impressed with the menu and the prices but the Welsh Government's staff canteens have come under criticism.

Tories are questioning meals prices at Welsh government canteens. Credit: PA

The cost of meals for workers at the Welsh Government's Cathays Park headquarters and its other offices around Wales is leaving a bad taste in the mouths of some.

Taxpayers in Wales have seen their financial contribution towards lunches for ministers and staff rise by an eye-watering 61% since 2010, according to figures released by Welsh Conservatives.

They say the subsidy has cost taxpayers £1,373,702 in the past four years, during which time many workers have had their pay frozen.

On the menu are dishes such as:

  • Chicken and seafood paella with saffron shallots, cooked in a 'live chefs' theatre' for £3.25.
  • Grilled Welsh pork loin steak with leek and black pudding mash for just £2.95.

A Welsh Government says the claims are a "staggering hypocrisy from a Welsh Tory AM whose colleagues and staff eat in a subsidised canteen" and a subsidy they are happy to support.

The increase in contract value reflects the extended scope of the contract which has risen from five sites to ten. The cost of catering across our administrative estate has been reduced by 47% under the new contract arrangements which began in April this year.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

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