§ Mr. Maples
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) if the term "average cost", with reference to flights by Ministers in his Department, refers to the average cost per passenger; 
(2) what was the total cumulative cost to his Department of ministerial use of RAF flights in the year to 1 May 1997. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
[holding answer 11 January 1999]: As my answer of 19 November 1998, Official Report, column 838, made clear, Ministers are required under the terms of the Ministerial Code always to make efficient and cost effective travel arrangements. The rules on travel for Ministers are the same as those that applied to the previous Administration. A comparison of travel by Ministers on RAF flights between the 16 month period between 2 May 1997 and 30 September 1998 is not directly comparable with the 12 months of the previous administration.
The average cost contained in my earlier reply referred to the cost per trip and not the individual cost per passenger. This Department was created from the former Departments of the Environment and Transport in June 1997 and also has the additional responsibilities of the Deputy Prime Minister. A direct comparison with previous years is not therefore possible. I am advised that the total cost of Ministerial flights provided by the RAF for the Departments of the Environment and Transport in the year to 1 May 1997 was £6,302. Cabinet Office was responsible for any expenditure incurred by the then Deputy Prime Minister.