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Christmas

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Christmas functions arranged by his Department and its agencies (a) the then Secretary of State, (b) officials of his Department and (c) officials of its agencies (i) hosted and (ii) attended in 2008; what the cost to the public purse was; and if he will make a statement. (295457)

This response covers the Department and its agencies, but excludes trading funds which are outside the MOD’s departmental boundary for financial reporting purposes.

Departmental policy is that Christmas functions are not an appropriate use of the Defence budget and therefore any functions should be fully funded from non-public funds such as staff subscriptions. No Christmas functions were arranged at public expense in 2008, but public funding of £838 was incurred in transporting MOD and service personnel to a Defence Equipment and Support Christmas Carol Concert in Bath.

Information about the attendance at Christmas functions by officials of the Department and its agencies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have spent on Christmas (i) cards, (ii) parties and (iii) decorations in the last 12 months. (299272)

This response covers the Department and its agencies, but excludes trading funds which are outside the MOD's departmental boundary for financial reporting purposes.

MOD expenditure on Christmas cards over the last 12 months has been £305.

This figure includes printing, purchase and postage, but excludes a small amount spent by defence attaches, for permitted representational purposes which is not identifiable and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

There was no public money spent on Christmas parties and decorations.