£800m a year 'wasted on empty offices'

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Indy Politics

Inefficient use of government offices could be wasting as much as £800m of taxpayers' money each year, public spending watchdogs warn in a report today.

Although the Coalition has clawed back some of the £1.8bn annual bill for offices since 2010, Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said: "A more ambitious approach could deliver much bigger savings. The Government Property Unit needs greater clout to mandate action across Whitehall."

The waste is partly due to rents on empty properties. Last month the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) located 20 empty government buildings. A Cabinet Office spokesman said: "There is more to do to drive out inefficiency and we will consider all of the PAC's recommendations carefully."