MP’s campaign results in review

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The head of Britain’s public spending watchdog has confirmed his office is carrying out a full review into Government use of ‘rip off’ phone numbers.

The move comes after a campaign by Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey, who provided the National Audit Office with a dossier of evidence.

The Wentworth and Dearne MP has been campaigning against the use of 0844 and 0845 numbers by GPs and government departments – especially the Department for Work and Pensions – for the last year-and-a-half.

Mr Healey’s recent report ‘The Telephone Tax’ revealed nearly two-thirds of department and agency phone lines begin with 084, to which calls cost up to 41p per minute.

Amyas Morse, auditor general, said the review will consider the benefits and drawbacks, for the Government and callers, of the use of higher-rate, geographic rate and free-phone telephone numbers.

Mr Morse said Mr Healey’s report would be considered as part of the review, alongside data collected from across government.