DAMNING figures yesterday revealed that the Government squandered some £4,500 per family last year on “useless projects”. Whitehall, councils and other state bodies are said to have wasted nearly £120billion last year – almost equal to the national budget deficit and worth nearly £90 a week per family.
And it was “almost certainly” an under-estimate, said the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA).
The European Central Bank has said that if the UK’s public sector was as efficient as those in countries like the US, Australia and Japan, £137billion could have been saved last year.
Waste identified by the TPA ranged from huge items like public sector pensions, farm subsidies, NHS clinical negligence and staff sickness, and taxpayer losses on the nationalised banks, to smaller sums like the Ministry of Defence paying £22 for light bulbs that usually cost 65p.
It also complained that £5billion went on benefits for households with incomes over £100,000, including universal pensioner payments such as winter fuel allowance and free TV licences.
TPA chief executive Matthew Sinclair said: “The latest Bumper Book of Government Waste shows that tens of billions of pounds are still wasted each year and there is an enormous amount of fat left in the public sector.”