First Class Flights

In these difficult economic times, it is important that taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. Public Sector Travel Magazine has recently highlighted some of the answers to Parliamentary Questions I have asked about departmental spending on overseas first class air travel. At the end of last year I asked each Government department how much they spent on first class flights. Many departments ducked the question and simply referred me to the list of all departmental spending on travel which does not differentiate between first, business and economy classes. However the results were still illuminating. The total departmental spend on overseas travel amounted to £2.2 million last year with three departments putting their hands up to Ministers’ first class air travel of £17,790.

The fact that an industry website has picked up on this line of questioning is good, as it shows that we have rattled a few cages. As Public Sector Travel put it: “In better times these might have been considered too small in the totality of public spending to matter much”, so it looks like someone is getting the message!

Here are the results of my Questioning, click on entries to see the links to Hansard:

Business Innovation and Skills “Cabinet Office provides an annual list of overseas travel over £500 undertaken by Ministers” £291,616.00
Cabinet “See annual list” £67,559.00
DCSF “See annual list” £40,386.00
DCLG “See annual list” £23,371.00
DCMS “See annual list” £36,373.00
Defence £10,723.80 £84,127.00
DECC “See annual list” £21,700.00
DEFRA “See annual list” £34,508.00
FCO “See annual list” £886,780.00
Health “See annual list” £52,316.00
Home Office “See annual list” £109,642.00
DIFD “See annual list” £326,379.00
Justice £2,040.50 £22,348.00
Northern Ireland “See annual list” £92,712.00
Scotland “See annual list” £12,114.00
Treasury “See annual list” £51,667.00
Transport “See annual list” £30,739.00
Wales “See annual list” £2,978.00
Women and Equality £5,026.00
DWP “See annual list” £23,759.00
TOTAL £17,790.3 £2,211,074

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