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Ministers: Grace and Favour Housing

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the grace and favour properties available to members of the Government; and who the current occupants of those properties are. (157812)

To ask the Prime Minister which Ministers occupy each of the official ministerial residences; and which of them (a) pay and (b) do not pay council tax on their official residences. (158074)

[holding answer 15 October 2007]: The flats above numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street have traditionally been the residences of the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. I currently reside in Number 11 Downing Street and my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer resides in Number 10 Downing Street. One of the flats in Admiralty House is currently occupied by my right hon. Friend, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown). Council tax is paid personally on these official residences by me and both my right hon. Friends. The remaining official residences are currently unoccupied. The ministerial residence in South Eaton Place, Pimlico, is no longer required and it will be sold, with the proceeds going to the Exchequer.

In addition, I have the use of Chequers and my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Foreign Secretary, have the use of Dorneywood and Chevening respectively. Council tax in respect of Chequers, Dorneywood and Chevening is a matter for the trustees. Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office have the use of accommodation in Hillsborough Castle and Stormont.