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Parliament: Cost

Volume 702: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the cost per member for 2007–08 and the previous three financial years of (a) the House of Commons; (b) the House of Lords; and (c) the European Parliament; and [HL4100]

What is the cost for 2007–08 and the previous three financial years of maintaining (a) the House of Commons; (b) the House of Lords; and (c) the European Parliament including (i) salaries, pensions, travelling allowances and secretarial expenses for members; (ii) salaries, allowances and pensions and other costs of supporting staff; (iii) accommodation, including rent, operating costs and security; and (iv) all other administrative costs, including payments to parliamentary bodies; and [HL4101]

What was the number of sitting days of (a) the House of Commons Chamber; (b) the House of Commons, Westminster Hall; (c) the House of Lords Chamber; (d) the House of Lords Grand Committee; and (e) the European Parliament plenary sessions in the (i) 2006–07 Session; (ii) 2007 calendar year; and (iii) 2007–08 financial year. [HL4102]

Precise comparisons between the cost of the European Parliament and the Westminster Parliament are difficult. The requested information is set out below. The House of Commons and House of Lords have provided data relating to costs on a resource basis, consistent with their resource accounts. The European Parliament has not adopted resource accounting and budgeting and all its cost figures have been presented on a cash basis.

Per Capita Cost per Member

£'000s

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08 unaudited provision

House of Commons (1) (3)

449

724

572

636

House of Lords (2) (3)

125

157

138

176

Figures for the European Parliament are available on its website (8).

Annual Costs

European Parliament

The European Parliament outturn figures for calendar years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and budget figures for 2007 and 2008 can be found on the European Parliament website (8).

House of Commons

£ millions

2007-08 Provisional Unaudited Outturn

Salaries, pensions, for Members

61.1

Salaries and pensions for admin staff

87.8

Accommodation costs, including rent, operating costs and security

207.9

Other administration costs

51.0

Total

397.7

Details of previous years’ expenditure by the House of Commons can be found in the Members and administration resource accounts (4)

House of Lords

£ millions

2007-08 Provisional Unaudited Outturn

Member’s expenses, salaries and pensions for admin staff (5)

47.3

Accommodation costs, including rent, operating costs and security

99.9

Other administration costs

61.9

Total

209.1

Details of previous years’ expenditure by the House of Lords can be found in resource accounts (6).

Number of Sitting Days

Sitting Days

2006-07 Session

Calendar Year 2007

2007-08 Financial Year

European Parliament Plenary Session (7) (8)

44.5

49

43.5

House of Commons Chamber

145

149

145

House of Commons, Westminster Hall

99

85

93

House of Lords Chamber

142

148

139

House of Lords, Grand Committee (9)

2

5

4

(1) The figures are calculated on the 641 Members who actually sat in chamber for 2006-07, 659 Members for 2005-06 and 731 for 2004-05. There are 646 Members, of whom five decline to sit in the chamber.

(2) The figures are calculated on the assumption that there are 722 Members.

(3) From 2004-05 onwards the figures are based on the capital charge being 3.5 per cent.

(4) House of Commons resource accounts can be found on their website (HC419, HC420, HC67, C68, HC1239, HC1240, HC831, HC832): www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmhocpap.htm#resource.

(5) The indicative numbers held at the moment do not separate out the data for Members expenses and salaries and pensions for admin staff.

(6) House of Lords resource accounts can be found on their website (HL23, HL44, HL11, HL197, HL163): www. publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldres.htm.

(7) European Parliament Budget Information and number of Members can be found on their website: www.europa.eu.int/eur-lex/budget/www/ index-en.htm.

(8) www.europarl.org.uk/

(9) Details are for the Welsh and Northern Ireland Grand Committee only.