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Government iPhone App development axed

The UK Government recently announced a freeze on all marketing and advertising spends which includes the development of apps for the likes of the iPhone.

Now the BBC has discovered exactly what the Government was spending tax-payer cash on after making a request for details under the Freedom of Information act.

It turns out that various Government departments have jumped on the smartphone bandwagon and that at least six apps were in various stages of development for the iPhone and other mobile handsets..

The Department of Health had spent thousands on three apps: one to help weak-willed tech fans give up smoking, one fitness app which tied in with the World Cup, and a final masterpiece which adds up how many beers you've necked, which may have been intended as an aid to healthier alcohol consumption, but would almost certainly end up being an electronic badge of honour for pissed-up nutters.

We can just see groups of bleary-eyed boozers comparing notes the morning after, clutching their iPhones, a box of Resolve, and a hair-of-the-dog pint of Wife-Beater.

The foreign Office has released a travel advice app which simply regurgitates information already available on its own web site, and the DVLA is currently developing an app called Motoring Masterclass which will show hapless car owners how to change a flat tyre. And the cost to the tax payer of that particular gem? Forty thousand quid to you guvnor.

But of all the stupid, irrelevant, pointless wastes of our money unearthed, the one that really sticks in our craw is an iPhone application developed by the Department of Works and Pensions at a cost of £32,775. The Jobcentre Plus job search app helps iPhone users who are on the dole to find work. Hang on a minute. Who the hell can afford to buy and run an iPhone - which the last time we looked cost at least thirty quid a month - on benefits?