UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spent more than €500,000 of taxpayers’ money on private jets in just over a week last year, according to The Guardian.
The UK government spent just under €108,000 on private jet travel for Rishi Sunak’s attendance at the COP27 summit in Egypt, flying in on 6 November and returning the following day, the newspaper said.
A week later, he set off on a round trip to the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, at a cost of over €340,000.
Mr Sunak’s Latvia and Estonia trip in December incurred travel costs of €62,498, with personal costs of €2,500, The Guardian report said.
The Liberal Democrats branded the expenses as a “shocking waste of taxpayers’ money” during the cost-of-living crisis.
“This is a shocking waste of taxpayers’ money at a time when people are struggling to pay their bills. Yet again this Conservative government is completely out of touch,” the tweet said.
This is a shocking waste of taxpayer’s money at a time when most people are struggling to pay their bills or put food on the table.
Yet again this Conservative government is completely out of touch. pic.twitter.com/3BvtyLdhj8
— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) March 31, 2023
The Downing Street said Mr Sunak’s travel was for “vital meetings with world leaders”.
“The role of the Prime Minister includes holding vital meetings with world leaders during bilateral visits and summits to discuss issues of international importance – including security, defence and trade,” a government spokesperson said.
The UK’s Opposition parties are also piling on the pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak over a recent Budget policy that could allegedly benefit his wife, Akshata Murty, through her business interest in a childcare firm.
Akshata Murty, the daughter of Infosys co-founder Narayana Murthy, is listed as a shareholder in Koru Kids Ltd which is likely to benefit from a new pilot scheme announced in the Spring Budget earlier this month to incentivise people to become childminders.
While 10 Downing Street has stated that Prime Minister Sunak had followed the UK’s ministerial code on the matter, the Opposition has called for further explanations.