‘Lavish’ £8.2m Government taxi bill criticised by Labour

Labour has criticised a “lavish” Government taxi bill of more than £8 million between 2019 and 2022.

The figures, revealed through a series of parliamentary questions across a range of Government departments, show £8.2 million was spent on taxis over the last three years.

Labour MP Jon Trickett said the public will be “shocked by the figures”, saying much of the “lavish” spending happened when Boris Johnson was prime minister and Rishi Sunak was chancellor.

Neither the Home Office or the Ministry of Justice provided any details for spending in response to the parliamentary question.

The Foreign Office was among the highest spenders, with more than £1.3 million spent in 2021/22.

“This is unacceptably higher than what would be considered reasonable use for government business,” Mr Trickett said.

“Of course, taxi use was justified more during the Covid pandemic for key health officials, but racking up £8.2 million on fares at the taxpayers’ expense is beyond excessive.

“It’s an insult to key workers in the NHS, in the rail and postal services, as well as many others, who kept our public services running during Covid and are now having their pay held down by this Tory government.

“This will provoke fury among hard-pressed families struggling with the cost of living and soaring energy bills, as well as those forced to rely on food banks to survive.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Staff sometimes require the use of taxis for business purposes. We are committed to reducing costs in this area and all departments are encouraged to keep travel expenditure to a minimum.”