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Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his estimate is of the total spending of his Department on entertainment in each year from 1994–95 to 2002–03; and if he will make a statement. [92392]

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's hospitality budget (a) is in 2002–03 and (b) was in each of the last three years; and how much was left unspent at the end of each financial year. [99577]

Expenditure on entertainment by the Ministry of Defence in each year since 1996–97 was as follows:

Year£ million
Figures for the years prior to 1996–97 cannot be provided on a consistent basis.

Due to the introduction of Resource Accounting and Budgeting, from 2002–03 onward entertainment costs will be reported on a different basis. The outturn for 2002–03, on this basis, is estimated to be £6.309 million.

These figures reflect expenditure incurred by the Ministry of Defence, the establishments and formations of the Armed Forces at home and abroad, and by individual officers occupying appointments for which entertainment allowances were payable. Expenditure incurred on entertainment is strictly for official purposes only, and is made in accordance with departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in Government Accounting.