MoD 'paid £22 for 65p lightbulbs'
The Military of Defence paid £22 each for lightbulbs available for just 65p, it has been reported.
Defence chiefs are also said to have shelled out £103 each for screws, believed to be on sale online for £2.60.
The spending came to light just days after the Government detailed how it planned to make 11,000 redundancies across the armed forces.
Defence Secretary Liam Fox criticised the inflated prices as showing a "lack of common sense" and evidence of a waste of taxpayers' money by the previous Labour government.
A solider, who works in the stores at a UK base, said he could not ignore the "criminal" waste he saw every day.
He told the Sun newspaper: "You're talking about a fortune for these bulbs. If I order 100, that's over two grand. But you can pick them up for 65p each, the exact same ones. There must be thousands of lightbulbs across the MoD. If people paid attention to simple things like this, they could save a lot of money - and maybe jobs."
According to the soldier, who the Sun did not name, specialist contractors source items for the military and add their costs on to the price. But he said large savings could be made by buying in bulk.
Dr Fox told paper: "We are already tackling the procurement problems we inherited head-on. When money is tight and we need to protect the front line, waste is inexcusable.
"This is classic evidence of how Labour wasted taxpayers' money and shows a complete lack of common sense. No wonder the last government left the MoD with a budget deficit of £38 billion."
An MoD spokesman said: "Given the current financial situation, we are looking at existing contracts to ensure value for money and taking steps to make efficiency savings."