Christmas may be over but the hangover of question in Parliament about the period are still going on. And boy are they interesting. Take for example the Department of Work and Pensions, who apparently say that it is "not the policy of this Department to provide Christmas trees, incandescent light bulbs or LED lights for festive decorations on departmental premises."
Can this honestly be true? Does the DWP really spend nothing for Christmas decoration on its departmental premises? Is the spirit of Ebenezeer flowing through the corridors or is just a case that the accounting is so bad they don't know and it's better to just say they don't? After all, they do have the evidently incompetent Peter Hain at the helm.
According to the junior minister Anne McGuire, the reason that they don't 'provide Christmas trees, incandescent light bulbs or LED lights for festive decorations on departmental premises' is because the land and buildings are owned by Land Securities Trillium under PFI and they just pay a unitary charge for "fully serviced accomodation". That charge, should you be wondering amounts to £517,671,000.
So the question is this. Did the DWP really say "bah humbug!" and leave it to the owners of the offices to provide some cheer for the poor sods that woprk there? Or did perhaps the DWP staff have to dig in their own pockets for decorations only to be told that they couldn't use them because they had not been electrically tested?