The Daily Express: Home Office wastes £1m on taxis

Thursday, 19 June, 2008

Home Office staff spent almost £1million on taxis last y ear- 30 times more than when Labour took power.

The department claims the massive rise is down to staff having to travel at "short notice" for increasing "operational work".

Spending on flights and hotel accommodation has also soared. Some £11million of public money was used last year to ferry staff from the Home Office and its agencies and foot their hotel bills- up 48 per cent in three years.

Shadow Police Reform Minister David Ruffley , who unearthed the figures, said: "They need to get a grip. As new technology allows for meetings to be held over the Internet or by conference call, less money should be spent on flights, hotels and taxis, not more." Figures released to MPs show some £900,000 went on taxis last year compared with £30,000 in 1997/98. Flights cost £2.56million in 2007 and accommodation £7,485,000.

The Home Office said: "Clear rules are laid out for all staff on which forms of travel they are allowed to take and which hotels they are allowed to stay in."