Foreign trips cost pounds 2m

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Indy Politics
JOHN MAJOR'S overseas visits since he came to power in December 1990 have cost the taxpayer more than pounds 2m, writes Chris Blackhurst.

They range from his visit to the Rio de Janeiro 'Earth summit' in June 1992 which cost pounds 318,146, to a two-day visit to the Barcelona Olympics ( pounds 79,469) and his Spanish holiday in June 1991 ( pounds 9,560).

Mr Major was replying yesterday to a question from Keith Vaz MP, who asked for details of his foreign trips since he became Prime Minister. Mr Major has been to 67 countries and spent about 140 days abroad.

INDUSTRY CASH: Britain's pounds 2bn share of the EC Structural Fund, to support infrastructure projects, will be distributed between Northern Ireland ( pounds 1.04bn), Merseyside ( pounds 690m) and the Highlands and Islands ( pounds 260m), Tim Sainsbury, Minister of Industry, said.

SPORTS: Hockey received the most taxpayer funding - pounds 1.25m - of any sport via Sports Council grants in 1992/93, Peter Brooke, heritage minister, said. Next was cricket, which got pounds 802,114.

BUSINESS TODAY - Commons: Not sitting. Lords: Noise and Statutory Nuisance Bill, Committee. Defence estimates debate.