- Waste of £87 per second revealed by Whitehall loss list for sums over £300,000
- Almost £2million wasted on flights for failed asylum seekers that were cancelled
- £626,000 was lost when officials double-paid a £10 Christmas benefits bonus
- NHS spent £115million on medicines that went out of date – amid funding crisis
Whitehall blunders have cost taxpayers £5.5billion in two years.
Ministers and officials blew £87 a second on failed projects and compensation payouts. The cash was enough to train 100,000 nurses or 9,000 doctors.
Almost £2million was squandered on deportation flights for failed asylum seekers that had to be cancelled because of a court ruling.
The Ministry of Defence wrote off almost £2billion – including £11million on two RAF drones that crashed during testing. Stock image of an Army drone
Another £626,000 was wasted when officials double-paid £10 Christmas bonus payments to benefit claimants. The Ministry of Defence wrote off almost £2billion – including £11million on two RAF drones that crashed during testing.
Health chiefs lost £115million on medicines that were out of date.
The figures, which cover the two years to last March, were calculated from analysis of the accounts of Whitehall’s 20 departments. They come at a time when public services are being cut and council taxes hiked to tackle a social care funding crisis.
The Whitehall loss list covers sums of £300,000 or more – the threshold that triggers an official explanation of what the cash went on.
The biggest money-waster was the MoD, which also splashed out £22million on a botched deal to repair RAF Typhoon jet engines.
The Department of Health wasted £1.1billion, Work and Pensions just under £1billion and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills £601million. ‘These shocking figures underline the importance of making sure that departments spend taxpayers’ money properly and wisely,’ said Charlie Elphicke, a Tory member of the House of Commons public accounts committee.
‘They must remember that this money belongs to hard-working people and it is vital every penny is dealt with carefully.’
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: ‘The Government are cutting services and programmes that affect people across the country to save money and yet they are wasting taxpayers’ cash like this.
‘We have a social care crisis, an NHS on the brink and we can’t pay for things like meals on wheels, yet we are chucking cash down the drain like this.