A Freedom of Information request was recently submitted asking for the total cost to the taxpayer of the RAF ‘Flypast’ organised for the birthday of Captain Tom Moore on the 30th April 2020.
Captain Tom, a former British Army, raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the COVID-19 pandemic. He began to walk laps of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday.
On the morning of his hundredth birthday the total raised by his walk passed £30 million. The efforts of a man who became, essentially, a national hero were celebrated on the morning of his birthday with a fly past from a Hawker Hurricane and a Spitfire of the Royal Air Force’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Well deserved and well earned.
The next month, Mr Boris Brooke-Frylington decided to submit a Freedom of Information request asking the following:
- The total costs to the taxpayer of the RAF ‘Flypast’ organised for the birthday of Captain Tom Moore on the 30th April 2020. Include the TOTAL cost, including (but not limited to) Staffing Cost (including Security), Fuel, and ‘Wear and Tear’ on the Planes involved;
- All internal staff communications on the matter above.
The response was as follows:
“A search for the information has now been completed within the Ministry of Defence, and I can confirm that no information in the format requested is held. The flypast for Captain Tom was resourced from the existing budget, the Annual Funded Task, and there was no additional costs to the taxpayer.
Under Section 16 of the Act (Advice and Assistance) you may find it helpful to note that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight have an annual flying hours agreement which is used for training as well as displays and flypasts. The two aircraft that conducted the flypast would have been training regardless, for the VE day event that they participated in the following week.”
Cost of everything, value of nothing eh?