?Chauffeur Car Scandals: Which MPs Are At Fault?
It seems the recent MPs expenses controversy is the kind of scandal that just keeps on giving. The recent budget cuts have drawn more attention to how local councils and ministers spend tax payer’s money, particularly on chauffeur driven cars. It appears some MPs are now opposing the use and maintenance of chauffeured cars as they but an unnecessary strain on tax payers.
According to Neil Gulliver from Chelmsford who is a cabinet member for economic development, the Essex mayor’s chauffeur car service should be scrapped; instead he should drive himself and charge expenses. Mr Gulliver’s suggestions are in light of the recent budgetary cuts and according to him a chauffeur driven car which is maintained using tax payers money is simply not acceptable.
Local Conservative and Liberal Democrat party members are opposing the change. Their argument is the civic leader of the county is expected to carry a certain dignity and the general public look forward to the arrival of the mayor in their official chauffeur driven car. If such as change were to be imposed it is likely to set a precedent which would ripple throughout the country.
The current mayoral vehicle is a Jaguar which was leased back in 2005 and was bought in 2009 for ï¿½13,000 is likely to stay for now even with opposition. Incidentally, it is the same car used by the Duchess of Cornwall for her wedding in Windsor in 2005.
Labour MP Peter Mandelson former business secretary has also been caught under the spotlight as it emerged his department spent more money on chauffeur driven cars than any other during their last year of power. Apparently he had no qualms spending ï¿½700,000 transporting ministers around London and the UK. The former business secretary’s department made use of a fleet of no less than 7 chauffeur cars.
Other big spenders were the home office which spent ï¿½500,000. In total a whopping ï¿½6.7 million was spent on chauffeur car services from April 2009 to March 2010. This was a ï¿½500,000 rise on the previous year.
Government department employees normally make use of either Toyota Prius or Jaguar chauffeur cars depending on their seniority. But according to transport secretary Philip Hammond, the number of ministers that are allowed to use a chauffeur car service has been minimised to cut costs.
With further budget cuts and losses of jobs in the public sector expected the eye of controversy will certainly gaze upon any spending which is deemed unnecessary, especially if it means saving the tax payer money.