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The red boxes resemble the one carried by Chancellor Philip Hammond on Budget day [Image: Philip Coburn/Daily Mirror].

The state of this.

Conservative ministers have spent more than £400,000 having their ministerial red boxes chauffeur-driven around Whitehall, according to figures gained via a Freedom of Information request.

Meanwhile our news media remain full of stories of people dying because the Tories refused to pay the state benefits they are legally owed.

This Site reported the latest tragic story last week, when it was revealed that a woman had killed herself after the Department for Work and Pensions cancelled her autistic son’s Disability Living Allowance, forced him onto the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and then disallowed his claim.

In the 2016-17 financial year, the cost of chauffeur-driven boxes was more than £44,000 – enough to pay for how many people’s PIP entitlement? Seven? Eight?

Valerie Grant might still be alive if only ministers could be bothered to carry their luggage around with them.

Ministers have sparked fury by spending £400,000 having their briefcases chauffeured around Whitehall.

The “wasteful” journeys carried no passengers – just the red boxes ministers use to carry their paperwork.

The huge cost comes despite a Tory pledge to get rid of red boxes, which are filled with civil service briefing papers and documents.

Before becoming prime minister, David Cameron vowed in 2009 to end “politicians swanning around in chauffeur-driven cars like they’re the royal family”.

[But] the annual cost is rising.

In the six years since the then coalition Government promised a crackdown on wasteful spending, almost £400,000 has been spent on the practice.

The actual spending could be far higher than declared. The figures released by the Government only relate to bookings made directly to the Government Car Service (GCS).

Ministers also have access to 20 pool cars stationed around Westminster, and they could be used for red box movements.

Read more: Fury as Tory ministers spend £400,000 getting chauffeurs… for their briefcases

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