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Former Prime Ministers (Private Offices)

Volume 300: debated on Monday 10 November 1997

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To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish the annual cost to public funds of maintaining the private offices of former Prime Ministers. [14986]

All former Prime Ministers are eligible to receive an allowance to assist them with the continuing heavy burden of office and secretarial costs arising from their special position in public life. The allowance is similar in purpose and amount to the parliamentary office costs allowance, but is paid in respect of public not parliamentary duties.The maximum amount of the allowance available to former Prime Ministers during the current financial year is £47,568 plus £4,757 for contributions to pension schemes of members of staff whose salaries are paid from the allowance.I do not think it right to disclose the amounts of this allowance claimed by individual former Prime Ministers, any more than the House discloses details of claims by Members under the office costs allowance.