Hundreds of trips have been made over three years by Welsh Labour-led Government-owned vehicles to just transport documents – without a minister inside – a Welsh Conservative FoI has uncovered.
A total of 242 trips transporting official documents, without a minister present, were made between January 2017 and January 2020, with the highest number of trips – 151 – recorded in 2019-2020.
The FoI also revealed that the cost of employing 12 ministerial drivers to drive 12 vehicles totalled £453,369.83 between 2019-20, with an additional £19,847 in the same period spent on maintenance.
Shockingly, this is an increase of £136,869 a year compared to £316,500 in 2016-27 for the same number of drivers and cars – more than a 40% increase.
Responding to the FoI findings, the Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, Angela Burns MS, said:
“Time and time again, the Welsh Labour-led Government has reached for the Welsh taxpayers’ cheque books to fund, quite frankly, needless things. It was simply not necessary to expect the taxpayer to fork out an extra £136,000 this year compared to 2016, especially when a hundred extra journeys are made without a minister inside.
“This shocking revelation comes despite the Welsh Labour-led Government declaring a climate emergency, where its ‘pledge’ has clearly fallen way short off the mark – and, in reality, has amounted to just hot air.
“Words alone from this government are not enough in achieving important environmental aims and putting an end to wasting vast sums of public money, as our recent FOI has discovered.
“Worryingly, if more than £450,000 can be spent on run ministerial vehicles in just a single year, I dread to think how much will be wasted by next year.
“In my new shadow ministerial position, I will pledge to the people of Wales that a vote for the Welsh Conservatives next May will see an end to excessive waste of public money.”