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UK minister scorns limo, wants bike

2014-01-16 14:50

GIVE ME A BIKE NOT A DRIVER: UK minister Norman Baker wants to save British taxpayers money by requesting that he be allowed to cycle to the work. Image: NORMANBAKER.ORG

In January 2014, Wheels24 reported that provincial premier Thandi Modise spent more than R1.3-million on a luxury BMW 7 Series despite the national Cabinet banning extravagant spending on such vehicles.

Imagine how much hard-earned tax payers' cash could have been saved if she elected to use a bicycle to and from work? While it may be a  pipe dream given the size of some our politicians it might become a reality in Britain.


British Home Office minister Norman Baker is rebelling against an order to use a driver by demanding that he be provided with a “ministerial bike” instead.

According to the London Daily Mail, Baker was told that he must be chauffeured on the half -kilometre route from his desk at the Home Office to the House of Commons in London.

Baker said he would rather cycle to work if the office provided him with a bicycle, arguing that it would be quicker and cheaper for him to cycle to and from work.

The Home Office refused, claiming that it would place an "unacceptable burden" on the taxpayer…but a limousine and chauffeur service would be less of a burden?


The office, which reportedly spends the equivalent of R2.4-million a year on chauffeuring British ministers around, said that providing bicycles would mean additional and unnecessary cost to the department where arrangements are already in place. After all, the car had been paid for and the chauffeur was being paid anyway.

It added that, for short journeys, Ministers could walk or use public transport.

It’s believed the row has been brought to the attention of Sue Gray, the Cabinet Office’s director-general of propriety and ethics, who has backed the officials, reports the Daily Mail.

Imagine how much could be saved, not to mention the tremendous weight-loss, if some of our politicians followed suit? Tax-payers wouldn't have to foot the bill for luxury ministerial vehicles and politicians would benefit from losing a few kilograms. Win-win?

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