Ministry criticised over size of outlay on plants

An MP has attacked a government ministry for spending £120,000 since 2001 on plants.

An MP has attacked a government ministry for spending £120,000 since 2001 on plants. In an answer to a written parliamentary question, George Osborne (Con., Tatton) found that the Department for Trade & Industry (DTI) spends over £25,000 a year on plants. He said: “I’m not against having plants in the workplace but £120,000 of taxpayers’ money in one department is too much.” Osborne has been looking for examples of “lavish use of taxpayers’ money” and found that “some spend just a few thousand on plants but the DTI stood out”. London-based Plantforce supplies and maintains the DTI’s plants. Sales and marketing manager Darren Stobbart said the DTI is “one of our top contracts”, adding that the DTI’s tropical plants budget is “miniscule compared with the biscuit budget”. He said: “The Government should increase spending on plants because they are a huge benefit to the workforce.” He added that studies conducted by NASA showed that plants in offices reduced absenteeism. A DTI representative said it was cutting costs because of the Lyons review but its contract with Plantforce lasted until 2007 and could not be broken. See and

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