UK red passports ‘worth £8.6m binned’ as government wastes taxpayers’ money


Pedro Goncalves

·Finance Reporter, Yahoo Finance UK

Mon, 10 October 2022 at 1:03 pm

A protestor holds up his British passport and participates in a peaceful demonstration outside the British Consulate in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019. The operator of the express train to Hong Kong's airport has suspended service as pro-democracy protesters gathered there following a day of violent clashes with police. Protesters gathered at the airport after online calls to disrupt travel. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
The burgundy passport was switched to blue after Brexit. Photo: Jae C Hong/AP

Government departments wasted over £4bn last year, with £8.6m squandered by the Home Office as it ditched burgundy passports when the colour was switched to blue.

The analysis of the accounts of Whitehall departments by the Labour party for the 2020-21 financial year shows that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy alone managed to write off more than £1.6bn of taxpayers’ money. This included £1bn in fraud and error from COVID grants alone.

The Department for Health and Social Care wasted just under £1.6bn while the Ministry of Justice wrote off £233m, including a £2m loss after HM Prison and Probation Service made a mistake when calculating how much should be charged for youth custody accommodation.

At the Home Office, on top of the passport blunder, another £800,000 was spent on plane tickets for migrant deportations that were never used due to legal challenges.

The burgundy design was replaced in March, following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Blue passports were introduced in 1921 and phased out after 1988 when members of the then European Economic Community agreed to harmonise designs.

Securing a change in the design became a rallying point for Brexit supporters, with the government announcing in December 2017 that the blue passport would return.

The Department of Education spent £3.2m designing the new building that would house the National College for Digital Skills, only to see the entire project scrapped and the taxpayers’ money lost.

Angela Rayner, Labour deputy leader, told both The Times and The Mirror — who first reported it — that Conservatives’ economic policy is just “one colossal write-off”.

“This catalogue of waste and write-offs shows the cost of a Conservative government.

“They claim to be the party of fiscal prudence and sound money, but just can’t be trusted with Britain’s economy.

“The Tories’ economic policy is just one colossal write-off, leaving taxpayers paying through the nose for ministers’ mistakes.

Published by anthonyhayble

I AM A PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER WHO BLOGS ON EVENTS, NEWS AND CELEBRITY ACTIVITIES. YOU WILL GET THE LATEST BLOGGING UPDATES WITH UP TO DATE NEWS AND EVENTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU. COMMENTS AND LIKES ARE ALSO WELCOMED. I AM STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING AND UPDATING MY BLOGS AND IT WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING SHORTLY. THIS IS STILL A NEW SITE AND WILL GREATLY IMPROVE WITH TIME

%d bloggers like this: