Queen saves a royal mint on travel

This year, the Household is expected to spend Pounds 5.4m on travel, over two thirds less than what was spent in 1997/98.

Although not going the whole hog by travelling standard class, the Queen and her entourage made the savings by using smaller planes and setting up its own helicopter service.

The taxpayer is set to benefit further through an accounting change which will allow the Ministry of Defence to only charge the variable, rather than full, costs for non-military use of its aircraft.

Since 1997 the Household has had responsibility for its travel budget, money for which comes through a ‘grant-in-aid’ system from the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

In that time it has replaced RAF helicopters with its own service, witched from BAe 146 aircraft to Bae 125s and reduced the size of the royal train from fourteen to nine coaches.

Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, said: ‘The Royal Household has made very good progress in making significant reductions in expenditure on royal travel whilst maintaining flexibility and standards of provision. A change in the basis of charging will bring further savings for the taxpayer.’


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