New Research: Spending on trees in Parliament

February 14, 2012 1:45 PM

Today we have exposed an incredible waste of taxpayers' money at the heart of Parliament. A response to a Freedom of Information request that we submitted reveals the huge sum of money spent on the upkeep of plants and trees on the Parliamentary estate.

Astonishingly, a handful of trees are being rented at cost to the taxpayer of £32,000 each year.

The Californian fig trees are the centre of the atrium in Portcullis House (PCH) where MPs and staff hold meetings and enjoy lunch. Since PCH opened in 2000 the total cost, including VAT, to rent just 12 trees is likely to be in excess of £400,000.

The Evening Standard reports that MPs on the administration committee, responsible for overseeing services provided in Parliament, have demanded an urgent review of the contract.

Robert Oxley, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"It's astonishing that Parliament, faced with an overwhelming need to find savings, is handing over tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money each year just to rent a few trees. This opulent greenery is a monument to the Parliamentary authorities' profligacy. It's lovely to have some plants to spruce up the workplace but something more affordable should have been planted. This contract is expensive yet taxpayers are stuck paying it."

The full costs for maintaining the greenery in the House of Commons and the House of Lords are detailed below:

Today we have exposed an incredible waste of taxpayers' money at the heart of Parliament. A response to a Freedom of Information request that we submitted reveals the huge sum of money spent on the upkeep of plants and trees on the Parliamentary estate.

Astonishingly, a handful of trees are being rented at cost to the taxpayer of £32,000 each year.

The Californian fig trees are the centre of the atrium in Portcullis House (PCH) where MPs and staff hold meetings and enjoy lunch. Since PCH opened in 2000 the total cost, including VAT, to rent just 12 trees is likely to be in excess of £400,000.

The Evening Standard reports that MPs on the administration committee, responsible for overseeing services provided in Parliament, have demanded an urgent review of the contract.

Robert Oxley, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"It's astonishing that Parliament, faced with an overwhelming need to find savings, is handing over tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money each year just to rent a few trees. This opulent greenery is a monument to the Parliamentary authorities' profligacy. It's lovely to have some plants to spruce up the workplace but something more affordable should have been planted. This contract is expensive yet taxpayers are stuck paying it."

The full costs for maintaining the greenery in the House of Commons and the House of Lords are detailed below:

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