Back in April, some may remember that the Cabinet had one of its away day meetings, this time in Glasgow. As has been reported in the mainstream media all of these out of London Cabinet meetings have come at a cost to the taxpayer.
One such example of the cost is Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. His travel costs for getting to Glasgow and back on April 16th were £744.67 and he took an official with him who costed a further £500.25.
Now, this may seem like small fry, but given there are 24 members of the Cabinet, and if we assume they all travelled with an official at similar cost, that amounts to just over £24,000 for travelling alone for a quick meeting in Glasgow. What suprises me more about Hilary Benn's costs is that it can easily be done for half the price.
I could book now and fly tomorrow from Gatwick to Glasgow with Easyjet, leaving at 7.30am and returning at 16.36, for £225. Hilary Benn could've got the Gatwick Express from Victoria for free. He could, being the Envfironment Secretary, carbon offset the flight for £1.80. If he then added a generous £50 for taxis in Glasgow its done for less than £300.
So why did he cost over £700 and his official £500?
Note: This is not an "expenses" claim. This is Government spending on Government business hence the tag reference to "Hansard" and not "expenses"