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Belfast trust taxi bill jumps almost 50% to over £1m

The Belfast Health Trust ran up a taxi bill of over £1 million last year
John Monaghan

THE taxi bill for the Belfast health trust increased by almost 50% in the space of just 12 months, it has emerged.

Spending on private taxis and bus hire companies rose to £1.14 million in the last year.

The total for 2013/14 was just £778,000, following a spend of just over £800,000 the previous year.

The Belfast trust is the largest of the north's five regional health authorities and deals with the biggest number of patients.

The Northern health trust also incurred a higher taxi bill last year, paying out almost £1m.

After also cutting its bill to £885,000 in 2013/14, spending on taxis and vehicle hire rose to £947,000 last year.

In February, UKIP assembly member David McNarry told The Irish News he "should be in the taxi business" after figures in the assembly revealed health trusts and education boards had paid £56 million for cabs in five years.

Speaking at the time, he said: "Money is being spent here as if it just grows on trees. This at a time when the health service is in dire straits."

The totals for the two trusts were released in response to an assembly question from DUP North Down MLA Alex Easton.

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