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Official Residences

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list the official residences for which her Department is responsible; who occupies each one; what the annual cost is of running each property; what contribution the occupants of each make towards running costs; what the total capital and refurbishment expenditure was on those properties in 2004-05; how much was spent in each property on (a) flowers and plants, (b) wine and entertaining, (c) food, (d) telephone bills and (e) electricity and gas in 2004-05; how many (i) domestic and (ii) maintenance staff are employed at each property, broken down by post; and what the total cost of staff employment was in 2004-05. (50876)

My Department is not responsible for any official residences.

The Palace of Westminster is responsible for the maintenance of the Lord Chancellor’s residence in the House of Lords and for any work that needs to be carried out. There are no permanent staff employed at the residence. The Lord Chancellor’s Private Office is responsible for the administration of the residence in terms of organising tours of the residence and keeping the diary of charitable functions. The Department does not make any contributions to the running cost of the Lord Chancellor’s residence in the House of Lords.

The cost of (b) wine and entertaining and (c) food for the years 2004 and 2005 are as follows:

Amount (£)

(b) Wine and entertaining





(c) Food





My Department is not responsible for (a) flowers and plants, (d) telephone bills or (e) gas and electricity bills nor are we responsible for (i) domestic or (ii) maintenance staff.

With respect to the contribution made by occupants: Ministers occupying official residences do not pay tax on the living accommodation itself. However tax is paid on the ancillary services (lighting, heating etc.) at a sum limited to his/her taxable ministerial salary and benefit (if any).