Cameron to get swanky $15m plane for official trips
British Prime Minister David Cameron and his senior cabinet members would get a high-security plane for their domestic and foreign trips.
According to British media, the government is planning to invest about $15 million converting a military plane for official use by Cameron and his ministers. Under the plan set to be unveiled Monday, the A330 Voyager will be converted as ‘Cam Force One’ as part of its security and defense review.
The jet -a version of the Airbus A330-200- is a long-haul plane able to carry 160 passengers. The government argues that an aircraft similar to America’s Air Force One would be more secure and save money in the long run considering security apparatus involved prime minister’s trip.
“We have been looking at ways to make better use of the RAF fleet to transport senior ministers and consequently deliver savings for taxpayers,” said a government spokesman.
However, the plan has been criticized as hypocritical on part of the government which is imposing deep cuts in order to minimize the public deficit.
“So Cameron cuts tax credits and in return we buy him a 15m private jet. So glad we’re all in it together,” an anonymous Twitter post said.
The plan for a high-security plane at public expense was also unveiled during previous governments. Tony Blair was the last leader to push for a prime ministerial jet — so-called “Blair Force One”. The request was blocked by Gordon Brown who was then the British chancellor of exchequer.
The government claims the plane will save more than 100,000 dollars a year in charter charges. Downing Street paid the same amount to hire an aircraft to take Cameron and the Royal Family to the funeral of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.