Good to see the “Taxpayers” Alliance on the ball as ever. There seemed something a bit familiar about their “ZOMG WE’RE RENTING TREES!!!!!!!” story, and indeed there was. This story was reported by the BBC way back in 2000 when Portcullis House first opened. Still, I suppose 12 years to put in a Freedom of Information Act request and find out something that’s already public knowledge is reasonable going for them. It cost £30,000 to rent these trees in 2010-11, which is exactly the same as it cost 12 years ago when the place first opened, so I’d say that’s pretty good going for what it is. Of course much better value for money would be to buy some artificial trees and just give them a wipe down with a damp cloth when needed. A quick Google reckons you can buy silk fig trees for about £1000 a go.
Incidentally, has anyone calculated how much all these endless FoIA requests cost the tax payer? Far be it for the TPA to be wasting public money with pointless fishing expeditions.