THE cost of high street vouchers used to reward Home Office staff has more than doubled in a year to £14.5million.
Stats show Home Office spending on non-cash payments rose from £6.6million to £14.5million.
Its website says the vouchers are handed out as it is “not always possible to give pay rises”.
Across all 14 major departments — with staff in many still working from home — spending rose from £29.6million to £40.94million.
Before the Covid pandemic, it stood at £18.8million.
A Westminster source said: “This makes no sense. Every year, the performance from these departments gets worse, but the rewards get bigger.”
John O’Connell, from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, added: “Government departments should call time on these costly retail rewards.”
A government spokesperson told The Sun: “These schemes are designed to incentivise productivity and reward the highest performers.”
A Campaign for a four-day week by civil servants at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is being stepped up amid warnings that long working hours and low pay is “pushing people to the brink”.