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Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department and its agencies spent on (a) first and (b) other class travel by Eurostar in the last 12 months for which figures are available. (187741)

Information on the number and type of Eurostar train tickets purchased is not normally held, because the Treasury’s accounting system records the costs of travel but not the number or type of tickets bought. However, for financial year 2006-07, the Treasury’s travel management company had provided information on the number and type of tickets purchased through them.

The combined spending of HM Treasury and the Debt Management Office was £283,000 first class and £17,000 second class. Tickets bought but subsequently refunded are excluded and some tickets are bought directly by the traveller, so this information is not a complete record of all Eurostar tickets bought by the Treasury.

Spending by the Valuation Office Agency was £1,745 on first class with no second class spending. The remaining agencies’ accounting systems do not separately identify transport providers and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.