Ministry of Defence: Travel

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 16th January 2018.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much his Department has spent on (a) taxis, (b) first class train tickets and (c) business class air travel in each of the last four years.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Ministry of Defence (MOD) expenditure on taxi fares is not recorded separately from expenditure on other types of public transport where fares can be reimbursed to staff as business expenses, such as for bus and underground travel. MOD staff may use a taxi for official duty when there is a business benefit to the Department or when it saves money. A taxi is typically used where no other suitable form of public transport is available or where heavy baggage or equipment has to be carried.

MOD expenditure on first class train tickets and business class air travel booked through the MOD Travel Contract in each of the past four years has been as follows:

Category

Expenditure

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

First Class Rail Tickets Note (1)

£71,280

£52,730

£43,501

£26,578

Business Class Air Travel Note (2)

£7,808,039

£8,727,962

£6,685,066

£5,721,761

Notes:

(1) Standard Class must be selected, unless there are exceptional circumstances (for example, on disability/medical grounds, if travelling single occupancy on a sleeper or other exceptional circumstances approved by a Director of Resources).

(2) Overseas travel in other than economy class is permitted only where both the flight duration is over 4 hours and there is a business case to demonstrate that the circumstances warrant it (for example, where significant business has to be done on arrival following an overnight flight). These figures include both US and Middle East internal flights that are First Class. However, because they do not have Business Class available - only Economy and First - it is recognised within the airline industry that these equate to Business Class elsewhere in the world based on cost and standard of service/seating so we always report as such.

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