Jet Set DECC: Department of Energy and Climate Change spends £1.5 million on 3,496 flights
Nov 2012 09

We can today reveal that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has spent over £1.5 million on 3,496 flights over the last two and half years. Of these trips, 362 werebusiness class at a cost of nearly £600,000. The destinations of these flights include far-flung locations from Johannesburg to Jakarta while DECC staff have even flown business class on flights within the UK. Given that flights produce greenhouse gases, as well as being expensive, it is difficult to reconcile DECC’s rhetoric on climate change with the number of flights the department has taken.

Click here to read the full report

The key findings of this research are:

  • The Department of Energy and Climate Change has spent over £1.5 million on 3,496 flights over the last two and half years. This includes the 2010-11 and 2011-12 financial years, and up to the end of August of the 2012-13 financial year.
  • 362 flights were taken in business class over that period at a total cost of nearly £600,000.
  • 3,017 flights were taken in economy class over that period at a total cost of over £835,000.
  • DECC spent just over £250,000 on domestic flights over the period. 39 of these flights were taken in business class. This includes a £460 flight from Aberdeen to London, and two flights between Manchester and London that cost £188 each.
  • Business class flights were booked between London other cities in the UK such as Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • The most expensive individual flight taken was a business class booking from Cancun to London, costing £5,792. Two business class flights from London to Cape Town cost £5,396 each, while two flights to Santiago cost £5,190 each.
  • One flight from London to Lisbon was taken on first class at a cost of £500.
  • Other destinations for DECC flights that cost over £4,000 included: Auckland, Cape Town, Nairobi, Jakarta, Washington, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
  • Business class flights were booked between London and other cities in Europe such as Budapest (£699), Madrid (£271), Cologne (£370), and Berlin (£474).

Click here to read the full report

Matthew Sinclair, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said:

“Despite being one of the departments making air travel more expensive for people paying their own way, the Department of Energy and Climate has spent an astonishing amount of taxpayers’ money on flights. This looks like breathtaking hypocrisy and extravagant waste from a department which can’t be trusted with more and more of our money, while others work hard to make savings.

“Officials urgently need to explain why they spend so much money on so many business class flights in particular. If Ministers can’t provide a satisfactory explanation for the number and cost of the air fares their department is racking up, then there have to be serious sanctions for officials who have left taxpayers with such an unfair bill.”


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  • Hardeep_Singh

    This is the usual Chris ‘know nothing, loud mouth’ Huhne advocating his ill thought out climate policy (read socialist pursuit of high taxation) upon everyone.

    He and his department know little to nothing about climate or meteorology, in fact probably doesn’t even know the difference between those two. Yet he promotes an agenda to curtail air travel for many families who would otherwise like a holiday and in these difficult times who wouldn’t?

    The crippling array of taxes on flights is unjust and the branding of the uber-professional aviation industry is little short of stroppy faced liberals who equate it to some pantomime villian. If the stupidity of such ideological decision making wasn’t bad enough they gorge on the very thing they deny others.

  • julian

    I notice that your report doesn’t actually work out how much the emissions produced were. That might be of interest to people with a slightly wider focus than yours.

  • Shoelab

    I think we would all be interested in who the flight was for and what was the reason for the trip.

  • Stuh

    When is something going to change, all we get are wind-up exposes but nothing changes. Taxpayers are getting ripped off day after day by politicians not doing their job, not controlling their staff and civil servants taking the mickey. This leaves the taxpayer more and more frustrated on the extreme incompetence of our so called leaders .

  • orac54

    I’d love to know which official thought himself so important that he had to travel Business Class, which 95% of the population will never be able to, and even most of those who are net contributors to the economy can’t afford.

  • J

    Quite simply, these people are not fit for purpose and never were. This is very disturbing news about how our hard earned money is spent. Same old story, easy to spend money that’s not your own.