Truss spent nearly $2 mln on travel in just 6 months
The British PM is constantly calling for budget cuts in the UK while she racks up travel bills for her public image and political ambitions.
In 20 trips during the first six months of this year, new British PM Liz Truss spent a total of £1.8m ($1,994,758.20) on overseas travel despite calling for control with public money and telling government departments to find “efficiency savings”.
Compared to her predecessor Dominic Raab's expenses amounting to merely £67,000 ($74,247.39) on trips abroad in six months before Covid took over, Truss has been said to “quite literally been taking the taxpayer for a ride”, according to Liberal Democrats who have also accused Truss of hypocrisy.
Although her visits between January and June included trips to Ukraine in light of the war, they were considered relatively inexpensive as opposed to a £454,000 ($503,109.18) trip to Australia, another £229,000 ($253,770.93) to Washington DC and a tour to Rwanda and Turkey that cost a little under £200,000 ($221,634.00) - which taxpayers have been paying for.
Just last month, after Truss tasked Whitehall departments with working on waste issues in the UK, she told Sky News: “There are plenty of areas where the government can become more efficient. We’re continually reviewing to make sure we’re getting good value for money and I think that’s what taxpayers expect.”
A previous poll conducted by the same polling agency revealed on September 30 that half of the British population thinks that Truss should resign. The 4,918 participants surveyed in the poll conducted revealed that only three percent think the mini-budget had the right ideas and only a quarter of them think she should remain in office, while more than half also thought Kwarteng should resign.
Surprisingly, costs were much lower by ministers in the cabinet such as Tariq Mahmood Ahmad's £6,787 ($7,519.51) flight to the US earlier this year, and Vicky Ford's journey to Malawi in April, taken via a private charter flight, which cost a mere £2,937 ($3,253.98).
Layla Moran, the Liberal Democratic party’s foreign affairs spokesperson, asked how the PM could plan “cruel cuts to vital public services when she’s been jetting around the world on ludicrously expensive visits, all paid for by hard-working families up and down the country”, expressing that her actions show "how out of touch she and her government are".
Truss has faced major criticism just a month into her term as PM, from failed promises to failing policies. Her term has witnessed the British pound plummeting to its lowest rate against the US dollar since 1971, a great recession almost taking over the UK, and her own party, known as the Tories, decrying her actions as an unfit PM.
Moran viewed the travel expenses as unnecessary and “startlingly high”, adding her belief that Truss “cannot be trusted with public finances”. However, a Foreign Office spokesperson replied by stating that they were crucial to “travel abroad to pursue UK interests” and that the issue “has already been addressed”.
Most recently, Truss' list of controversial decisions includes the possibility of revoking 570 laws that protect the environment in the UK, refusing to levy a windfall tax on oil corporations while her country faces the brunt of global warming, and publicly expressing her pro-Israeli stance, for which she proclaimed herself to be a proud "Zionist".