Miliband to fly like a millionaire at UK taxpayers’ expense

May 3rd, 2009 - 3:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Gordon Brown London, May 3 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary David Miliband is to waste hundreds of thousands of pounds on a private jet to whisk him around the world.

As recession-hit Britain struggles under the weight of a historic debt, Miliband plans to travel in five-star luxury rather than take scheduled flights.

The tabloid reveals that Miliband has ordered his minions to find him a luxury Gulfstream or Learjet plane to be on standby to whisk him away on official trips abroad at a moment’s notice.Each trip could cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds when Miliband could simply take a scheduled flight instead.

Just flying him to the US and back could cost the exchequer 250,000 pounds, reports The Sun.His boss, Prime Minister Gordon Brown scrapped the Queen’s Royal Flight in March to save money, but Miliband is going for his own royal-style jet despite the country’s nosedive into recession and debt. Last night the Foreign Office confirmed that a contract for the 24/7 hire of a private jet went out for tender in early February and will last for two years.

It also includes a demand for a back-up gravy plane to be kept ready.

A spokesman refused to disclose how much Miliband’s mini version of the American president’s Air Force One would cost the country. All he said was that Miliband deserves the right to have a private aircraft at his disposal.

Last year, Miliband was accused of using the Queen’s Flight as his own “private taxi service” after boarding it 16 times in 12 months before his government scrapped it.

Cabinet Office rules strictly banned ministers from using the 32 (The Royal) Squadron if any other commercial service was available.

Miliband’s plane-which the Foreign Office claims will also be available for use by other Cabinet ministers-is likely to be a plush Gulfstream or Learjet. Private flights cost more than 8,000-pounds-an-hour with an average bill for a return trip to Washington costing nearly 80,000 pounds.

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