Brewhaha erupts over NDP MLA's big coffee bill

A dispute over office expenses is brewing between an Alberta government MLA and the Wildrose Party over the price of coffee.

'There is nothing untoward about the purchase,' Barb Miller shoots back

NDP MLA Barb Miller's choice in constituency office coffee has Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre steaming. (Alberta's NDP Caucus/YouTube, Green Energy Futures/flickr)

A dispute over office expenses is brewing between an Alberta government MLA and the Wildrose Party over the price of coffee.

The NDP MLA for Red Deer South, Barb Miller, has charged taxpayers almost $5,000 for coffee and the opposition says she needs to try harder to cut back.

Earlier this year Miller submitted receipts for over $4,800 of K-Cups, thousands of single-servings of coffee and tea.

"I regularly hold meetings with stakeholders and constituents and offer them coffee as a courtesy," Miller said in a statement.

She was not available for an interview Friday.

"I bought the coffee for the constituency office in bulk at a good price. There is nothing untoward about purchase."

She said she decided to stock up for the next two or three years by buying in bulk.

Wildrose MLA Don MacIntyre says while the K-Cups may be convenient, they are expensive and not environmentally friendly.

He says his staff brews fresh coffee in the office every day at a much lower cost, adding the NDP should try harder to cut costs.

"This is taxpayers' money," MacIntyre told CBC News.

"She can do at home what she wants but this is taxpayers' money and we need to stretch that dollar just as far as we possibly can."

He says it may sound small but it all adds up, even the coffee bills.

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