The cost of the Taoiseach's recent trip to Brazil and Argentina was more than £300,000. Replying to a question in the Dáil from Fine Gael leader Michael Noonan, Bertie Ahern said that the cost of an air taxi used within and between the two South American countries was £190,949.

Mr Ahern said that it would not have been possible to visit as many places in the time scale involved by using scheduled flights. The other costs associated with the trip are £116,757. This is not yet a final figure, as a number of bills still have to be forwarded by the Department of Foreign Affairs.