London, July 23 : Prime ministerial trips of Gordon Brown cost the British taxpayer less than those of his predecessor Tony Blair, say reports.
Statistics show that Blair's nine trips during his last three months as Prime Minister ran up a total bill of 724,686 pounds, while Gordon Brown's trips during his first ten months as Prime Minister cost 950,000 pounds.
Brown's individual trips are said to have cost less than those of Blair, and the former has use the Eurostar to go to Brussels.
However, Brown's recent travel bills are said to have increased sharply, with flights to Jedda in Saudi Arabia, Japan and the Middle East.
It is also said that though the overall pay bill for special advisers is down, the number of advisers in Downing Street has risen from 18 to 24. Such changes in Brown's inner circle are said to have cost the taxpayer dearly.
Reports also suggest that the salary paid to the four special advisers Brown has recruited since November is in the top bracket of 105,000 to 140,000 pounds.
While Brown has entertained fewer celebrities at Chequers than Blair, he is said to have opened his doors to wealthy business figures like Sir Alan Sugar, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, and James Dyson.
The film directors Lord Attenborough and Richard Curtis, the playwright Sir Tom Stoppard and the Beatles producer Sir George Martin also took up invitations.
The Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb said: "This list is in marked contrast to what we were told about Gordon Brown being a more frugal premier, with the use of Chequers being scaled down. The glitz and glamour may have gone, but Chequers is still being heavily used, this time for the Prime Minister to entertain some of the richest people in the country."
Francis Maude, the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, said: "Gordon Brown pledged to end the era of spin. Instead he's rushed to use more taxpayers' cash to hire a growing number of spin-doctors in a vain attempt to stop his popularity from plummeting further."