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Members: Allowances

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Leader of the House what allowance is payable to hon. Members successful in the ballot for private Members’ Bills to assist with drafting costs; when the allowance was last increased; what the value of the allowance is expressed in prices at the date it was last increased; whether she plans to increase it; and if she will make a statement. (212423)

Provision was made by resolution of the House of 29 November 1971 for a payment of not more than £200 towards drafting assistance for those Members coming in the first ten places in the ballot for private Members’ Bills. The provision has not been increased since that date and would now be worth a little over £2,000 expressed in current prices.

There have been very few claims against the allowance for many years. Alternative sources of assistance to Members have increased greatly since 1971 and, as the Government’s response to the Procedure Committee’s Fourth Report of Session 2002-03 (HC 333) made clear, the Government have undertaken that the resources of Parliamentary Counsel will be applied to Bills which are likely to pass “for the purpose of ensuring that its terms give effect to its supporters’ intentions” (Second Special Report from the Procedure Committee of Session 2003-04 HC 610, para. 20). The Government accordingly have no plans to propose an increase in the sum.