George Osborne has blown a cool £10.2million revamping his Whitehall HQ using firms which supply the Big Brother house, Vivienne Westwood and the Queen Mary 2.
The Chancellor splashed tax-payers’ cash on interior designers specialising in expensive and quirky chairs, tables and desks.
The two-year spending spree is revealed just days before Mr Osborne discloses his latest brutal cuts in Thursday’s Autumn Statement.
And it will create outrage, coming as millions of the country’s most vulnerable people are hit by cuts to disability benefits and having to endure the hated bedroom tax.
Details of the lavish spending emerged following a question tabled in the House of Commons when it was revealed that over two years Mr Osborne has sanctioned a string of deals to smarten up his department.
The items bought have not been disclosed but the firms used by him are. Among the Treasury’s suppliers was Panik Design, which sells £5,500 bookshelves, £3,300 poker card tables and £65 paperweights.
The Chancellor’s department spent at least £1,300 at the Milton Keynes-based company, which claims its studio “showcases some of the world’s best in designer accessories, lighting and furniture”.
The firm, whose clients include Calvin Klein and Christian Dior, boasts that it is “the UK’s largest independent stockist of contemporary design” and offers a “unique range of high-end products”.
Panik’s spokesman refused to say what the Treasury bought, but said it was “not ridiculously overpriced”.
He added: “It’s a lovely functional product that does a very good job, that a lot of businesses buy. The people that work there will enjoy it.”
Another supplier was furniture firm Ferrious, which sells three-seater leather sofas for £7,600. The Treasury spent at least £1,696 with the company, whose website says: “Our goal is to offer clients the finest furniture, kitchens, lighting and accessories all backed up by an unparalleled interior design service.”
Mr Osborne also sanctioned spending of at least £2,700 at office furniture company Senator which promises: “Our mission is to design, deliver and manufacture innovative office furniture…of the highest quality.”
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Michael Dugher, who uncovered the spending using parliamentary questions, accused Mr Osborne of ignoring the needs of millions of people struggling to make ends meet while he gave his HQ an expensive makeover.
Mr Dugher said: “Rather than tackle the cost-of-living crisis Treasury ministers are living it up in luxury.
“Ministers have been shopping at exclusive interior designers to kit out their offices while families are gathered around the kitchen table worrying about paying bills. This goes to show just how out of touch David Cameron’s government is.”
Treasury minister Nicky Morgan said £8.5million – not including VAT – had been spent over the past two years refurbishing the Treasury to support “increased occupancy” of the building. When VAT is included, the total cost of the refurb comes to £10.2million.
One Treasury insider said: “I don’t see why we couldn’t have just bought new furniture from Ikea.”
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