NICOLA Sturgeon’s Government has been accused of an “appalling waste of money” after the revelation that it used chauffeur-driven cars to ferry documents around Scotland on more than 200 occasions last year at a cost of almost £1million – and has spent almost £4.7million doing so since 2017.
And the actual figure is likely to be even higher, given the total does not include journeys for the First Minister herself or other senior figures. Government cars are intended for transporting officials and ministers around Scotland.
However, a Freedom of Information request showed they had been used on at least 209 occasions purely for the transport of official documents in 2020.
The Scottish government declined to disclose journeys used for Mrs Sturgeon or Scotland’s lord advocate and solicitor-general.
However, they showed the overall cost of the Government Car Service (GCS) last year to be £903,002.
Over the past four years, taxpayers have forked out an eye-watering £4,748,509.
The expense has been criticised as “appalling” by opponents.
In response, Ian Murray, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for Scotland, said: “The SNP has spent almost £1 million ferrying documents around while the number of children living in poverty has skyrocketed and local services are being savaged. It tells you everything you need to know about their priorities.
“This is not only an appalling waste of taxpayer’s money but paying for documents to be driven around makes a mockery of the SNP’s climate pledges.
“We need full transparency about what exactly these journeys were, why they were necessary and who allowed so much money to be spent on it.”
Scotland goes to the polls on Thursday for elections which Mrs Sturgeon is hoping with deliver her the overall Holyrood majority she craves.
However, a poll published yesterday by Savanta ComRes indicated support for independence had fallen to just 42 percent, with 49 percent opposed, and eight percent undecided.
Removing the undecideds from the equation would yield a strikingly similar result to that of 2014, when No triumphed by 55.3 percent to 44.7 percent.