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House Of Commons Catering (Grant)

Volume 464: debated on Monday 9 May 1949

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asked the hon. Member for Walthamstow, West, as Chairman of the Kitchen Committee, whether the provision of £14,500 in the Estimates for 1949–50 as a grant in aid to the committee will suffice to defray the year's deficit on the basis of the present level of receipts and expenditure being maintained.

Receipts and expenditure of the Kitchen Committee have no direct bearing on the amount allowed in the Estimate referred to. The amount is provided as a contribution towards the cost of staff wages, insurance, and superannuation, during the period when the House is not sitting, as is done in the case of other staffs providing amenities for Members of the House. The actual cost to the committee is considerably in excess of the amount in the Estimate.

Can the hon. Gentleman assure the House that action is being taken by the committee to ensure that no further recourse to the taxpayer beyond the amount already voted will be voted at the end of the year?

The committee is and has been taking every possible step to ensure that. If the hon. Gentleman can add to our information we shall be very glad to hear from him.