Whitehall publication outlines government expenses

Posted on November 21st, 2010 | Categories - Financial News

Areas of government spending have been highlighted in a new publication.

Publication aims to make government spending clearer to all.

Details of items of government expenditure over £25,000, which highlight how taxpayers money has been used since the general election, have been published this week.

The move was made as part of the government’s “transparency agenda” and highlighted about £80 billion of spending.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office Minister, said publishing the figures was “revolutionary” adding that “it is [the government’s] ambition to make the UK the most transparent and accountable Government in the world”.

He continued: “When you open up the books, let people start to do some auditing of their own, I think there will be a great deal of pressure on government to use money, other people’s money, much more carefully and be prepared to answer questions more”.

The data showed that outsourcing firm Capita received £3.3 billion, more than any other item of government expenditure. Other companies included Hewlett Packard and property firm Trillium, which each received £285 million. A £170,000 bill for bottled water at HM revenue and Customs was also paid out, £34,000 was spent on a dinner at the RAF museum in north London and the Ministry of Defence paid £35,000 in bank charges.

Prince Charles also received £667,000 in rent for Dartmoor prison, which is situated on his land, by the Ministry of Justice. The Army paid out a further £677,000 for access to Dartmoor as well.

Other data has also been published by the government outlining the salaries of civil servants, which provides the names of employees who earn more than £82,900. BBC expert Mark Easton said the publications will give rise to an “army of armchair auditors” replacing the need for the Audit Commission and other analysts.