A report in the Daily Telegraph shows the dramatic savings achieved by Eric Pickles at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
In 2010/11, officials spent £17.95 at McDonald’s, £23.60 at Nando’s and £11.48 at Burger King on their Government Procurement Cards. None of the restaurants appeared in GPC bills in any of the previous four years, according to a Parliamentary Answer.
Overall, spending on the cards by CLG officials fell from £515,000 in 2007/8 and £535,500 in 2008/9 to £210,000 in 2010/11.
A large proportion of the savings were in hotels, bars and restaurants. In 2007/8 and 2008/9 CLG officials spent around £120,000 a year on their cards in hotels. In the first year of the Coalition – 2010/11 – they spent just £18,000.
Similarly spending in restaurants and bars by CLG officials on their cards fell from £54,000 in 2007/8 to just £5,425 in 2010/11. In the first six months 2011/12 the figure was just £180.
So the spending cut was 90% in 2010/11 – but then for the first few weeks of that financial year there was still the Labour Government and the fine dining at taxpayers expense which was its policy. It looks rather as if 2011/12 will see a 99% spending cut in this area.