Politics

Whitehall officials blow more than £13 million on private cars over the past three years


WHITEHALL mandarins blew more than £13 million on taxis and private car services over the last three years, new figures reveal.

The biggest spender was the Ministry of Defence, which forked out nearly £3.5 million of the total.

 The total taxi bill for the three-year period to April 2019 was £13,314,741

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The total taxi bill for the three-year period to April 2019 was £13,314,741Credit: Alamy

Two departments increased both the amount spend and the number of journeys taken.

The total bill for the three-year period to April 2019 was £13,314,741, according to figures were obtained by the TaxPayers’ Alliance under freedom of information requests.

Spokesman John O’Connell called on Boris Johnson’s new government to keep a tighter rein on the use of cabs.

He added: “While some use of taxis is unavoidable, civil servants should not be capitalising on the convenience of constant cab rides, especially around the capital.

“Clearly some MoD mandarins have been maxing out their fares, while other departments have rightly kept taxpayer-funded trips to a minimum.”

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“The election should hail a new attitude in Whitehall, with officials ditching the taxis and sticking to using the same public transport as everyone else.”

In its response, Defra stated: “This expenditure should be taken in the context that the department’s headcount has risen substantially over this period due to mergers and EU Exit work. From April 2016 to March 2019, the headcount rose by 157 per cent.

“In addition we always seek to achieve an appropriate balance in terms of cost, taking into account convenience, carbon emissions and staff travel time.”

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