Rishi Sunak’s premiership has been defined by chaos.

Since he took over in October 2022, his Government’s permanent state of disarray has cost taxpayers £8,200,000,000 and resulted in 314 wasted days. Here’s the full breakdown of the cost of chaos.

Taxpayer bill


Item Outgoings Amount wasted
Chickening out from holding a General Election on 2 May £33,200,000

Analysis by the Mirror showed that by not holding a general election on the same day as local elections, Rishi Sunak has wasted £33,200,000. This is because the government saves on admin costs when it combines general elections and local elections, for example by using the same polling stations and counting staff. They estimated this was enough to pay the average annual salary of 1,000 nurses or 880 qualified teachers.

Soaring mortgages: extra annual costs for homeowners coming off their fixed rate mortgages in the next year £4,100,000,000

The disastrous mini budget hit millions of homeowners with soaring mortgages. According to the Financial Conduct Authority, between April 2024 and March 2025, 1,400,000 homeowners are coming off fixed rate mortgages. The Bank of England estimates a typical household remortgaging will now have to pay £240 more a month, resulting in £4,100,000,000 of additional costs for homeowners.

By-elections: sleaze and scandal £2,000,000

Eight by-elections have taken, or are taking, place to replace Tory MPs who have quit since Rishi Sunak took charge, at a cost of £2,000,000 to the taxpayer. This includes the ousting of MPs Chris Pincher and Peter Bone, who both left the Commons in sexual misconduct scandals, and the upcoming by-election in Blackpool South on 2 May, following a lobbying scandal in which Tory MP Scott Benton was found to be offering paid lobbying services to the gambling sector. The figure is based on the average cost of by-elections held in 2022 (£250,000).

Tory libel fees £15,000

The taxpayer footed the bill for Science Secretary Michelle Donelan’s false claims that an academic had been a terrorist sympathiser, in a midnight rant posted on Twitter/X. Donelan’s chaotic behaviour required civil servants and government lawyers to edit and vet a letter in the middle of the night and call on the services of an out of hours lawyer.

Reshuffle office revamps £34,000,000

With turnover of government ministers comes revamps of government office interiors.  The Sun reported that Education Secretary Gillian Keegan signed off on a £34,000,000 office makeover, stripping out the 1990s interior over four floors of her department’s Westminster head office, while classrooms crumbled with unsafe concrete. The construction firm tasked with the work said there was a “focus on sensory, cognitive, physical or development needs, along with improved lighting and a muted colour palette”.

Tory immigration chaos £2,600,000,000

The Home Office had to ask for an emergency cash payment of £2,600,000,000 due to unforeseen expenditure on hotels for asylum seekers. The details were snuck out via a written statement to parliament, despite Rishi Sunak’s pledge to end the use of hotels for asylum seekers. The government’s chaotic handling of the asylum system has seen the growth of a huge backlog and a huge bill for the taxpayer. 

Rishi’s VIP helicopter rides £40,000,000

Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials were poised to scrap a contract worth up to £40,000,000 that provided VIP helicopter rides at the taxpayer’s expense, until Rishi Sunak personally intervened to halt the decision. The MoD had said it would stop renting the private helicopters so that “available funds are prioritised on key areas”. But in classic chaotic fashion, Rishi Sunak intervened to extend the contract with Sloane Helicopters, allowing him to continue his jet-setting, money-wasting trips.

Scrapped northern leg of HS2 £1,400,000,000

Rishi Sunak announced in October 2023 that phases 2a and the remainder of 2b of the rail project High Speed 2 (HS2) were being cancelled, resulting in the line ending at Birmingham. But at least £1,400,000,000 had already been spent on the cancelled parts of the line, “for work that will now be of little use”, with invoices already paid as part of contracts and land and properties purchased.

Days lost to reshuffles 16

A full month of working days was lost to recent government reshuffles, with ministerial resignations, sackings for scandals, and rebellions from unruly ministers. This included Dominic Raab resigning from government after a bullying investigation, the sacking of outspoken Home Secretary Suella Braverman, and the resignation of long serving ministers such as Robert Halfon.

Days lost due to Rishi's zombie parliament 26

The average sitting hours in parliament have been on the decline under the Tories, with chaos and division meaning the government has often struggled to pass and timetable legislation. The current parliamentary session has seen the average sitting hours hit a record low, with Rishi Sunak presiding over a zombie parliament. If parliament had been sitting for the same amount of time as it had on average under the last Labour government, it would have gained 185 hours to debate important new laws. This means the nation has lost the equivalent of 26 working days in Parliament due to Tory chaos.

Days lost in limbo as Rishi Sunak refuses to call a general election 272

By choosing not to call a general election on 2 May, Rishi Sunak has thrown the country into limbo with a potential 272 lost days if he chooses to wait until 28 January 2025. In the meantime, the British public have to put up with a government passing very few pieces of legislation, wasting parliamentary time, and refusing to govern. An unnamed official told Sky journalist Sam Coates: “People are just not working. If you walk around Whitehall, it’s a ghost town..... It feels like a pre-election period, a purdah for the civil service already.” 


Your money lost to Tory chaos


Days lost to Tory chaos


Extra charge

U-turns creating uncertainty and wasting taxpayer money


Under Rishi Sunak, the Tories have u-turned on policies including the northern leg of high-speed rail line HS2, leasehold reform, and housebuilding targets. Others include his u-turn on net zero policies, Channel 4 privatisation, fines for missed GP appointments, hotels to house asylum seekers, and banning Confucius Institutes. Of course, the biggest u-turn of all the Tories performed was appointing Rishi Sunak Prime Minister, after their first choice option Liz Truss crashed the economy.

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