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Whitehall slammed over excessive taxi spend

Date: 15 July 2009   |   Author: Tom Webster

Civil servants in Whitehall spent £8m on taxis and private cars in 2008, according to research by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The research showed that £2.5m was spent of taxis, while £5.5m was spent through the 'Government Car and Dispatch Agency' (GCDA).

19 of the 20 government departments responded to the TaxPayers' Alliance's request, with only the Ministry of Defence failing to provide information. The research showed that four of the departments spent more than £6600 on keeping taxis waiting in November 2008.

The Foreign and Commonwealth office was the biggest offender, paying £3607 on keeping taxis waiting. The office was also the biggest spender over the year, shelling out more than £1.2m over 2008.

Matthew Elliot, Alliance's chief executive, said: "Current spending on taxis and chauffeured cars is excessive. When ordinary businesses are trying to save money by getting employees to take the bus, it is only fair that public officials do the same. Some taxi rides on the taxpayers' pound are unavoidable, but too much is being spent on the luxury of convenience while cheaper options are available."