"It’s belt- tightening time all around – and that includes the Assembly Government, which has joined everybody else in cutting back on the profligate expenses.
That doesn’t explain, though, the response to a Freedom of Information request published last week, asking how many times ministerial cars were travelling between Cardiff and Anglesey without a passenger (that missing passenger being, presumably, Deputy First Minister and Anglesey AM Ieuan Wyn Jones.)
The answer: 32 times in the past two years: 13 times in 2008, 17 times last year and twice so far this year.
“These journeys were made to provide ministers with official transportation from Anglesey to other destinations,” explained the Assembly Government, thus cutting out the need for Mr Jones to chunder down the A55 in a normal car like everybody else."
Doubtless the Wales on Sunday means the A470, but I digress. So Ieuan Wyn Jones flies up and down on the Airlink but presumably sends his chauffer-driven ministerial car back and forth between Anglesey and Cardiff to set him down at one airport and pick him up at the other. Anyone who's ever tried to find a taxi at Anglesey Airport will recognise how handy that could be – however, with the the North-South Airlink already costing Welsh taxpayers £800,000 a year, Ieuan Wyn Jones might want to look up the number of local minicab company next time.
Incidentally, last week's Holyhead and Anglesey Mail carried an advert from IWJ saying that he will be at the Plaid Cymru tent throughout this week's Anglesey show. Presumably therefore he is up here on Plaid rather than Welsh Assembly business and will not require his chauffer-driven WAG car. However you never know – so here's a little competition for all readers: I will donate an Anglesey Druid's Head Penny as a prize to anyone who manages to spot and take a snapshot of IWJ's chauffer-driven ministerial car this week!*
* Obviously the photo must show the car in Anglesey - not Cardiff! First photo wins.