Labour's £55m furnishing bill

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Indy Politics

Government departments have spent more than £55 million on office furnishings since 2005, according to official figures highlighted today by the Conservatives.

Over the same period, departments spent £33 million on new vehicles, more than £1 million on artworks and over £500,000 on pot-plants.

Tories compiled the totals from information given by 14 Whitehall departments in reply to parliamentary questions, and said that if the other 10 spent at the same rate the true figure for office furniture could be £68 million - enough to buy a quarter of a million desks and half a million chairs.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said: "At a time when hard-pressed taxpayers are struggling with the rising cost of living and Labour's tax hikes, the public will rightly question why the Government is splashing around such a large amount of taxpayers' cash on office furniture and plants.

"The Government should practice what it preaches and start living within its means."

Biggest spenders on office furniture in the three-year period in question were the Department for Work and Pensions, with £24 million, and the Department for Transport, with £17.5 million.