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Report: Govt departments in £17m credit card splurge

Government departments and bodies have spent almost £17 million on credit cards, the Sunday Times (£) has reported.

According to the newspaper, the spending includes stays at expensive hotels, pub lunches, jewellery and even a £70 bill for a bunny outfit.

Government spending on credit cards reaches '£17m'. Credit: PA

The information was reportedly previously hidden because government departments, regulators and quangos only publish details of individual payments on cards of more than £500.

Using freedom of information rules, the newspaper asked 33 government bodies for details of all payments below £500 on government procurement cards (GPCs) and other publicly funded credit cards.

Ten departments, including the Home Office, HMRC, the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office refused to release the data while others provided only partial information.