Somewhere over the rainbow
At a time when Scotland faces spending cuts of up to £3 billion in its budget, the parliament will today send four MSPs and two officials on a trip to New York, Boston and Washington DC.
The business-class transatlantic flights are costing in excess of £10,000, while accommodation has been booked in some of the best hotels.
The trip – described last night as an unnecessary, taxpayer-funded "jolly" – has been arranged as part of Tartan Week, even though the Scottish Government is already sending three ministers to take part in the celebrations in New York.
Critics said the decision to proceed showed bad judgment at a time when elected members should be setting an example on spending restraint.
The Holyrood delegation is led by Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson and includes Labour's Pauline McNeil, Jamie McGrigor of the Tories and the SNP's Gil Paterson. Each of the BA flights for the four MSPs and two officials cost £1,691.
During the trip, the MSPs will focus on the "three key areas" of "climate change, sustainable transport and opportunities around the green economy".
Opportunities around the green economy - the troughers certainly seem to have grasped that idea.