The coalition has spent £50m on First Class travel and taxis since it came into office in 2010. This is despite pledging to put an end to luxury travel.
The figures were released after a parliamentary question from a Labour MP, and are less than the last government spent. But the Taxpayers’ Alliance believe the figures are still too high. Jonathan Isaby from the TPA told the Sunday Express: “The UK has an ever-increasing £1.4trillion credit card bill to pay off. Those at the top must understand that they have to play their part too.”
Of all the government departments that provided figures the Ministry of Justice spent the most, but their taxi bill does include taking prisoners to medical appointments. Last year they spent £3.1m on taxis and a further £500,000 on first-class trains and business class flights. Justice Minister, Mike Penning, described the budget as having been “significantly reduced” by the current government.
A Whitehall source claimed Labour had asked the question to embarrass the government. He said: “By clamping down on waste as part of our long-term economic plan this Government saved tax payers £14.3billion last year alone compared with Labour’s last year in office.
“Taxi use is controlled by departments and includes those for disabled staff members pursuing official business. We have made substantial savings from ministerial cars and details of all ministerial overseas travel are declared quarterly.”