As over 100,000 civil servants have announced their plans to join the picket lines – no doubt they’ll relish the rare opportunity to leave their home offices – Guido can shed yet more light on their notoriously cushty conditions. From the last three years, civil servants in the Department for Work and Pensions alone spent over £2,000,000 on taxis. The enormous drop in expenses after the pandemic, when Whitehall’s remote working obsession began, will surprise nobody.
The DWP currently has just 18% office occupancy, according to the government’s tracker, and still spent £431,000 in the past year alone. For over £1,000 a day, not even one in five can turn up for work.
The figure was attained by an Freedom of Information request and comes on top of those ascertained by Labour written questions in October. Labour found the sum total of Whitehall taxi waste, including the Government Car Service, was a stonking £8,200,000 – though this didn’t include the figure for the DWP (nor the MoD and Home Office). With these numbers on top, government taxi spend over the past 3 years is now well into the eight-figures.
In this context, co-conspirators should spare a thought for our striking civil servants. Assuming they haven’t forgotten where their offices are, how will they get to the picket lines without their taxpayer-funded free rides?