Papal Visit Cost UK Taxpayers £9m

Another horror story from The Daily Record:

The pope's state visit to the UK last year cost the taxpayer at least £9.3million.

That included a £66,398 dinner with the Queen for the Papal delegation - and a £18,735 bill for eating with the Foreign Secretary.

Taxpayers also forked out £22,530 on helicopter flights and £146,659 for insurance.

Among the costliest items were £3million for media facilities and £1.67million for an open-air beatification mass in Birmingham.

Airport arrivals and departures came in at just over £60,000, tranporting the Popemobile and official baggage cost £34,440 and £17,546 went on accommodation for senior members of the papal delegation.

Figures were published in an offcial statement by Bellingham yesterday.

An estimated 500,000 people attended events during Pope Benedict XVI's four-day visit to the UK.

The £6.98 million costs of the state elements are being met by the public purse with the Catholic Church asked to reimburse the taxpayer by £6.35million for pastoral events. Direct costs already met by UK Catholic churches are estimated at around £3.8million.

Police and council costs came from existing budgets, but the Metropolitan force forked out £300,000 more than predicted.