§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the cost of(a) Ministerial cars and drivers and (b) the Department's bill for taxis in (i) 1995–96, (ii) 1996–97, (iii) 1997–98 to date and (iv) 1997–98 full year. 
§ Mr. Straw
[holding answer 5 February 1998]: The estimates available to me for the costs, borne by the Home Office, of Ministers' cars are as follows:
Year £000 1995–96 296,752 1996–97 323,900 1997–98 to date 417,963 1997–98 estimate 503,963
Some years, the figures will of course include the cost of the periodic replacement of cars as well as their maintenance and other running costs. This is the case in 1997–98: costs for two new cars have been incurred in 1997–98, one ordered before 1 May 1997 and one since. The information available to me about the Department's use of taxis is incomplete and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible.