Mr. Alan Williams
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will quantify the cost of the factors which led to an increase in the cost of cars for Ministers in his Department since 1990–91.
§ Mr. Eggar
Factors which led to an increase in the cost of ministerial cars were(a) an increase in the rate of VAT from 15 per cent. to 17.5 per cent. which accounted for an additional £12,000, (b) an increase in the weekly rate charged for cars by the Department of Environment which accounted for £38,500 and (c) the costs relating to two additional Ministers, since April 1992, which amounted to £105,400 for a total increase of £156,000. Against this can be offset reduced expenditure of £210,000 on cars following the amalgamation of the Department of Energy with the Department of Trade and Industry.