This comes from Ed Vaizey MP’s blog:

"I am guessing the annual cost today [of a ministerial car] is at least £100,000 – that’s almost £10 million a year for ministers’ cars.  I suspect it is much higher overall – most senior officials have them as well as the heads of the major quangos. It would not surprise me at all to learn that the Government Car Service cost between £50 million and £100 million.

Who needs these cars?  The PM obviously, for security.  I would make a case for the most senior ministers – Chancellor, Defence, Foreign and Home, as you would have to know exactly where they were if a crisis, say another 7/7, hit.  After that, I can’t think why you would need one – an Oyster card, second clas rail ticket and the odd cab should suffice.  The idea that you are transporting secret Government papers is a total conceit, and can only really be carried off by Cabinet Ministers, and perhaps home, foreign, treasury and defence ministers.

So perhaps we should announce a hiring freeze for the Government Car Service, and reduce it in size over the lifetime of the next Parliament."

Well said Ed.  As the axe falls across the public sector it’s vital that ministers and politicians take a lead in the necessary austerity.

Tim Montgomerie

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