Government spending on translation soars by 40% in UK

Tougher language tests for new immigrants have again been called for after Government spending on translators rocketed by 40 per cent in two years – despite a drive to cut costs.

In 2007, Labour laid out £100million on translation services across Whitehall and the justice system before pledging to slash the bill. Last year, however, translating information for non-English speakers rose to an astonishing £140million.

Critics branded the costs a waste of money and demanded that immigrants moving to Britain be given stricter language tests.

The criminal justice system, including police, courts and prisons, last year spent £34million on translators.

NHS Direct translates its documents into 200 languages including Esperanto, which is spoken by just 2,000 people in the UK.