Jim Murphy is always calling for restraint in public spending and the need for the Scottish Government to find 'efficiencies', but what Mr Murphy doesn't inform us is that his Scotland Office budget increased by £1.2 million to £8.7 million for 2009/2010. Last year the budget rose by £1.3 million.
By contrast, the total Scottish Government budget of around £29.5 billion rose by £18 million in 2009/2010 compared to a much larger increase of almost £76 million last year. Scottish ministers argue that when inflation is taken into account, their budget has fallen in real terms.
However, Mr Murphy has put his most generous increase to good use. He's spent £1.4 million on a facelift for his luxurious mansion office during the worst recession in modern history. More money has been spent titivating Dover House in London over the past two years than in the whole of the previous five years.
Public money has gone on things like new carpets and oak floorboards, wall and ceiling decorations, a new fireplace, air conditioning, new cupboard doors and CCTV cameras, to name but a few items.
Since 1999 a succession of labour ministers have authorised more than £3.3 million of 'refurbishments' to the Scotland Office's Whitehall headquarters, as well as its smaller Edinburgh base. Why does Jim Murphy need an Edinburgh base?
Ministers said the bulk of the cash was spent on roof and exterior repairs because it's a grade one listed building and must be maintained at an 'acceptable standard of decoration', but planning papers lodged with Westminster City Council show that public money has also been spent on sprucing up the interior, as well as bomb proof doors, roof lights and even 'pruning an Indian bean tree'.
Did you know that the walls of Dover House are lined with dozens of valuable painting on loan from the National Galleries of Scotland? Did you also know that the building boasts a gym, a shower room, two libraries, a radio broadcast room and a video conferencing room?
Margaret Thatcher was apparently furious that her ministers were working in such luxury. So am I, especially when there is no further need for a Scotland Office now we have devolution. But Jim Murphy's job is not to defend and protect Scottish interests, it is to ensure that every proposal made by the SNP Scottish government is ignored or scorned by the Westminster government.
Next time I hear him mutter about efficiencies I'll be able to call him a hypocrite and justifiably so.