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September Sittings

Volume 448: debated on Wednesday 5 July 2006

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the cost was of the sittings of Parliament in September (a) 2003 and (b) 2004; how many contracts were changed due to the decision to sit in September in each year; and what resulting additional cost was imposed on the House in (i) wages and (ii) salaries. (82028)

The overall daily resource cost of running the House administration in 2003-04 and 2004-05 was £487,000 and £520,000 respectively. The difference in cost between sitting and non-sitting days is small, as the major costs of accommodation and staffing are not appreciably affected. Major works and other contracts were negotiated on the basis of the revised sitting arrangements in both September 2003 and 2004. It is therefore impossible to determine with any accuracy what the actual costs of alternative contracts might have been, but it is estimated that around £90,000 of additional works expenditure was incurred directly by the House sitting in each September period.