The Evening Standard reports the irony that the Government's spending watchdog Sir John Bourn has racked up £27,000 on eating out (as well as receiving hospitality from big firms) and £365,000 on travelling (i.e. first class travel with his wife to exotic locations) - all in the last three years. He's the man responsible for investigating waste and extravagence in Whitehall. Good work if you can get it.
New research released by the Conservatives today shows that the number of senior civil servants like Bourn has grown by almost forty per cent from 2000, to 2007. Senior bureaucrats now cost the taxpayer a staggering £250 million in salary costs alone. Theresa May, the Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, commented on the statistics:
“As Chancellor, Gordon Brown commissioned Sir Peter Gershon to make government more efficient. He said he would deliver a gross reduction in civil service posts of 84,150. But these figures show that this was just classic Brown spin – more of the same old politics. On Gordon Brown’s watch, there have been more than a hundred tax increases, central government has been getting bigger and bigger – but we’ve seen little improvement in public services. Whatever Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling claim, it is clear that they are not the change the country needs.”