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RIP-OFF OF THE CENTURY LOOMS

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Councils organising millennium celebrations are being charged hundreds of times the usual hire rates by firms keen ...
Councils organising millennium celebrations are being charged hundreds of times the usual hire rates by firms keen to cash in on the event.

Some firms hiring out portable toilets are raising prices from the normal£500 to£5,000, marquee hire prices are being inflated by 400% and some councils are being quoted£15,000 for a five-minute firework display - three times the usual cost.

The businesses claim they are merely covering their own extra costs and that wages on 31 December 1999 will be at least treble or quadruple the usual rate.

Lincoln City Council recreation and tourism manager Robin Rushton had a warning for the profiteers: 'I understand costs may be higher for this special night. But I think they should be aware that any organisation that feels it has been exploited over the millennium will think twice about employing the firm for any future event.'

But marquee hire firm manager David Bett said: 'You can't get something for nothing and if people are expected to work over Christmas and New Year they will have to be paid extra.'
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