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Perks for government staff

Almost £30,000 will be spent on unofficial Christmas benefits for government staff this year.

The figure was revealed by Chief Minister and Head of the Civil Service Commission Tony Brown (pictured) in the House of Keys.

Rushen member Juan Watterson asked which departments and statutory boards provide Christmas gifts, Christmas parties, leaving presents and social club subsidies.

Mr Watterson suggested that the situation should be reviewed to ensure such spending is consistant.

The Chief Minister told members that only the Post Office provides staff with Christmas gift vouchers for local stores, and it also finances a children's and old person's party.

With regard to Christmas parties, the Department of Tourism and Leisure pays for an event for Sports Council volunteers and a similar gesture is made to Friends of the Gaiety Theatre and Friends of the Wildlife Park.

The Departments of Home Affairs and Transport, the Post Office and Water Authority contribute to leaving gifts, while the Financial Supervision Commission, the Manx Electricity Authority and the Water Authority pay subscriptions for social clubs.

Mr Brown said he would be prepared to look at the current situation, but custom and practice should be taken into account.

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