Liz Truss calls £500,000 Australia trip made on government plane 'good use' ...
ITV News

Liz Truss popped to Australia on a private jet which cost the taxpayer £500,000 and people aren't best pleased.

The Independent reports that the foreign secretary made the trip this week rather than using scheduled flights which would have been faster and cheaper because of "security considerations".

A senior source from the aviation charter industry told the publication that the cost of operating Truss’s trip would have been “at least £500k” but Truss insisted her flight was reasonable.

Speaking to ITV News, she said: "I used the government plane - that is why we have a government plane: to enable government ministers to conduct government business, and that’s what I flew to Australia in.”

Asked whether she deemed its deployment a “good use” of public money, she replied: “We have a government plane precisely so that government ministers can travel.

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“Every government decision is based on value for money. We have a government plane specifically so ministers, like me in my role as foreign secretary, can go and do the work overseas which is ultimately delivering for the British people.”

Meanwhile, A Foreign Office spokesperson told the Independent: “It’s necessary for the foreign secretary to travel abroad to pursue UK interests around security, trade and technology, as she did during this visit to Australia.

“This trip used government transport and was fully within rules set out in the Ministerial Code.”

Despite the defence, people are not thrilled.

Labour's deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said the use of the private jet showed “the public exactly quite how little respect this Conservative government has for taxpayers’ money”.

She said: “It is obscene that government ministers are jet-setting yet are hiking taxes and refusing to do anything to help working families when they are feeling the pinch of the cost of living crisis.

“Tories waste disgusting amounts of public money on their own vanity and comfort, Labour wants to see families see a cut to energy bills, that is the difference.”

Meanwhile, people took to Twitter to fume:

Spending big bucks to whizz around the world when you could do so for less. You might say that is a disgrace...

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