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Wednesday
Apr032019

INTERNATIONAL (United Kingdom): "U.K. Defends Buying $16 Million New York Penthouse for Diplomat" ....

***$16 million Manhattan penthouse for British Consul General Antony Phillipson....

* New York Times:  "U.K. Defends Buying $16 Million New York Penthouse for Diplomat" - From the NYT:

LONDON — The British Foreign Office on Wednesday defended spending almost $16 million to buy an apartment for a diplomat in New York as “the best possible deal and value for money” and a way to promote Britain’s business interests in the city.

The British government paid 12 million pounds, or about $15.8 million, for the property, a full-floor penthouse on the 38th floor of 50 United Nations Plaza, a 43-story condominium building that is a stone’s throw from the United Nations headquarters on the East Side of Manhattan. It will be home to Antony Phillipson, the British consul general in New York. Mr. Phillipson is also Britain’s trade commissioner for North America, responsible for strengthening the bilateral trade relationship between Britain and the United States, among other duties.

The price of the apartment did not sit well with some in Britain, who accused the government of wasteful spending while the country was still experiencing the hardships of austerity. The tabloid newspaper The Sun described the property as a “pencil-pusher paradise.”

“The government could afford a £12 million grace-and-favor penthouse in New York, but couldn’t spend money to rehouse Grenfell survivors,” Umaar Kazmi, a law student at the University of Nottingham, said on Twitter on Wednesday, referring to the 2017 fire at a high-rise building in London that killed more than 70 people. “As ever, the government shows that these things are not a matter of cost, they’re a matter of political priorities,” he added.

Nearly a decade of government austerity has had profound effect on British society, slashing budgets for policing, housing and welfare ....................