Communities and Local Government has become the first department to reveal a list of government spending in a detailed breakdown. Following the publication of the figures, the government has accused the previous administration of creating a culture of overindulgence.
It was revealed that the previous government totalled bills of more than £100,000 on market research and polling last year. It also spent more than £1,600 on massages for staff through a company that offered an on-site service, and £539 on a day-trip to Blackpool pleasure beach.
Fire Minister Bob Neill said: "It seems quite literally the Government Offices for the Regions were taking the taxpayer for a ride. They were living it up at the taxpayer's expense whilst thousands of households were struggling to make ends meet.
"Splashing out six-figure sums on pollsters appears to be another one of Labour's vanity projects. It's unforgivable that a culture of excess was allowed to flourish for so long."
The breakdown includes 1,900 items of expenditure for 2009-10, totalling £314 million. There was a £16 million bill for marketing, advertising, promotion and events. £635,000 was spent on taxis and chauffeurs, and £310,000 on catering and food.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles appealed for auditors to help identify waste as he opened the books for scrutiny. He said: "The simple task of putting spending online will open the doors to an army of armchair auditors who will be able to see at a glance exactly where millions of pounds spent last year went. The public and the press can go through the books and hold ministers to account for how taxpayers' money is being spent."