This entertaining exchange took place yesterday in the House of Commons- the evidently underemployed Dai Davies (Blaenau Gwent, Independent) Hansard asked the Secretary of State for Defence .. " how much his Department has spent on the purchase of new chairs for its main building in the last two years; what the unit cost was of each type of chair purchased; and what best value criteria were applied.
Up strode Kevan Jones (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence; North Durham, Labour) and failed to tell him ..
In the last two years, the MOD has spent £17,687 on new chairs. I am withholding the unit costs of the individual items as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice commercial interests. The terms of the contract require the contractor, Modus Services Ltd., to seek to obtain best value for money in its purchasing.
The MOD haveType45 destroyers but no missiles, Aircraft carriers have been delayed, Tranche 3 of Typhoon is shortly to be cancelled, FRES is a dead duck, troops are desperately short of helicopters in Afghanistan, MOD housing is a costly decaying shambles, Chinook purchase is till a confusd and confusing miasma , Bowman radio , overweight, over budget ....
.... and the MOD HQ spent £740 per month on new chairs.
Glad to see we are getting our spending priorities right.
Nothing new here though the Daily Mail had a story - "
Fears of Government over-spending have been fuelled today as a row broke out - over the cost of new chairs billed to be the most comfortable seats in the world.
The Ministry of Defence bought 3,000 Aeron chairs, billed as the most comfortable seats in the world, as part of a £350 million refurbishment plan.
That was 5 years ago on 12 July 2004 and the Telegraph took the story up as well.