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Diamond Jubilee London tours 'cost thousands'

Queen Elizabeth II waves to spectators as she leaves Westminster Hall. Credit: Kevin Coombs/PA Wire

The Royal Family criss-crossed the globe, at a cost of almost £1 million, to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last year.

While the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh remained at home, touring the UK, their family travelled around the Commonwealth to mark the milestone.

The Princess Royal visited South Africa and Mozambique to celebrate her mother's 60-year reign, travelling on a scheduled long-haul return flight between London and Johannesburg costing just over £42,000.

For the opening of the Paralympic Games a month later, the Queen flew by chartered plane from Scotland to London at a cost of £16,000, then returned on the Royal Train for £20,000.

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Government to build London transport's infrastructure

Effective transport infrastructure in London benefits not just London but the whole country, the Chief Treasury Secretary said today.

Under the Spending guidelines, the Government has proposed:

  • Providing over £5.8 billion in capital grant and a further £3.8 billion of borrowing power between 2015-16 and 2020-21.
  • Explore the case for extending the line to Barking Riverside to unlock potential housing development.
  • £2 million to fund a detailed study on the Crossrail 2, which would create a new high-frequency, high-capacity rail line running south west to north east across London.
  • Investing £115 million to electrify the Gospel Oak to Barking rail line.
  • Devolve part of the West Anglia rail franchise to the Mayor of London, aiming for the transfer to take place by the end of 2015.

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£160m to fund for more decent homes in London

An affordable housing bonanza is under way, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander suggested, which he said would be "truly transformative".

He said the coalition's Help to Buy scheme was already helping to get people on to the property ladder, but he acknowledged more needed to be done.

This spending round also funds more than 2,500 new homes specifically designed for older and disabled people and £160 million for decent homes, mainly in London.

The most ambitious and significant investment in affordable housing for a generation.

– Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury

£10bn to upgrade worst schools in London

The Chief Secretary announced that the Government would be spending an additional £10 billion on school upgrades, alongside plans to rebuild the worst 261 schools.

Danny Alexander said:

We are rebuilding 261 of the worst schools as part of the Priority Schools Building programme. With the money committed today, we will complete this by 2017 - two years early.

But there are many other schools in need of repair and investment. The last government stopped even checking just how many schools were in need of repair. We have started again.

We will put £10 billion behind this, enough to clear the urgent backlog and we are investing too to create one million new places in a decade, across the country, including in Lancashire, Leeds and London.

Government to commit £2m to support Crossrail 2

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Credit: PA Wire

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury has reaffirmed the Government's funding commitment to allow Network Rail to deliver the largest programme of rail investment since the Victorian-era.

Mr Alexander said from 2015 funding will be in place to begin work to electrify the line which connects Gospel Oak and Barking in London.

He added the Government was committing £2 million to support a funding and financing study into Crossrail 2.

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