Monday 10 February 2014 12:11 am

Think tank says coalition wastes £120bn per year

THE TAXPAYER’s Alliance (TPA) has accused the government of squandering £120.4bn in one year as the pressure group mounts a “war on waste”. In its new Bumper Book of Government Waste, the TPA says £1 in every £6 of government spending was wasted in the 2012-13 year – the equivalent of £4,560 per family. The TPA, which campaigns to reform taxes and cut spending, has itemised wastage ranging from £22.5bn overpayments on public sector pay and pensions compared to the private sector and £20.6bn for public sector fraud to £33,333 spent on pot plants by the Welsh government and £2,340 for six pictures of herbs for Heart of England NHS Trust. It also singled out £8.9m for “the impact of Britain’s broken planning system on increasing the Housing Benefit bill” and £2.7bn for “the cost of contributory benefits for those who don’t need them, excluding the state pension”. TPA chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Politicians and bureaucrats are still squandering our cash while families are struggling with punishing levels of taxation.”