The collapse of Thomas Cook will cost taxpayers at the very least £156m, an investigation by a authorities watchdog as discovered.

The National Audit Office has mentioned the Department for Transport (DfT) agreed to pay round £83m in the direction of the cost of bringing dwelling Britons stranded overseas due to the vacation agency’s failure.

The report additionally confirmed the federal government spent £58m in redundancy-related funds for former Thomas Cook workers.

It additionally spent a further £15m to shut and liquidate the failed enterprise.

Labour MP Meg Hillier, chair of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee mentioned “lessons need to be learnt” from the expertise.

Passengers board a Thomas Cook airplane at the Heraklion airport on the island of Crete
Image: 83,000 prospects stranded overseas had been discovered not to have ATOL-protection

She added: “Government seems to be set to foot the invoice, with {industry} off the hook.

“The resources to cover other airlines going bust are now very limited. New regulations are urgently required.”

More from Thomas Cook

When the travel giant collapsed on 23 September final yr, the Civil Aviation Authority repatriated all 150,000 holidaymakers who had been caught abroad.

Of people who had been introduced again, 83,000 prospects had been discovered not to have ATOL safety, the industry-wide insurance-like scheme, which meant they’d to be rescued on the taxpayers’ expense.

A spokeswoman for the DfT mentioned: “Due to the unprecedented scale of the operation, other airlines did not have enough capacity to repatriate those abroad.

“Without this effort, stranded passengers could not be assured a protected journey dwelling, inflicting stress and disruption to households, which might have had a knock-on impact on the broader economic system with so many workers overseas.”

A total of 746 flights from 54 airports were involved in what was known as Operation Matterhorn.

The CAA has warned “there can be comparatively restricted assets left” as soon as all prices in rescuing Thomas Cook passengers have been accounted for.