Treasury saves £157k a year by reading newspapers online

George Osborne has cut Treasury spending on national titles by 85 per cent since taking office in 2010, according to Freedom of Information figures.

The Treasury spent £28,000 on buying national newspapers for its approximately 1,200 staff in 2015, compared to the £185,000 it spent in 2009, according to the figures.

The biggest drop in spend came in the first year Osborne became Chancellor in 2010, when spend plummeted from £185,000 to £48,000.

Spend, which includes print and digital subscriptions to national titles, also dropped significantly from £44,000 to £28,000 between 2014 and 2015.

The Treasury said it had slashed department spending on newspapers as part of wider cuts across all government departments to help cut the deficit.

Since 2009, the Treasury’s spending on periodical journals spiked twice, tripling from a base of approximately £4,500 in 2010-11, and nearly quintupling in 2013-14. But the Treasury was unable to comment on reasons behind these increases.

A spokesman for the Treasury said: “In 2010, the government set out its plans for tackling Britain’s deficit. All government departments continue to play their part in working through this plan which is why, among delivering other significant savings, the Treasury has reduced the amount of money we spend on print newspapers.”

The Cabinet Office, Home Office and Department of Culture, Media and Sport refused to answer similar freedom of information requests — even when narrower date ranges were requested — on the grounds that it would take too much time to gather the data.

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