Labour former ministers have been criticised for spending £72,000 on a Whitehall “tranquility room” while Britain was in recession.
The two-storey meeting pod was constructed as part of a major refit at offices shared by Harriet Harman's Government Equalities office and John Denham's Communities department. The staff magazine apparently described the “serene green” room, which was completed last October, as “a 21st Century... space of quality, air and light, where we can work, relax and refuel in a natural ebb and flow”.
The £72,614 pod was part of a broader £2.4 million refit, intended to bring about efficiencies for the Government.
The current Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “While Britain was gripped in recession, public debt was going through the roof and thousands of private sector workers were losing their jobs, Labour ministers were literally feathering their nest using public cash, and splashing out on luxury accommodation for officials.
“Taxpayers will be outraged at the cost and excess of Harriet Harman's Serene Green Tranquility Room.”