Government reveals £500m annual spend on Parliament

August 18, 2009 at 3:13 pm Leave a comment

by Tony Grew

The Houses of Parliament cost taxpayers nearly £500m last year, the government has revealed.

During the summer recess the House of Lords continues to ask for written answers from ministers.

“Questions for written answer are used by Members of the Lords to extract information and, during recess, are a way for the House of Lords to continue to hold the Government to account – even though Parliament isn’t sitting,” according to

“During last session (2007-08), the Government answered 5,814 written questions from Members of the Lords and made 1,242 statements.”

In answer to a question from Viscount Tenby, the Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Royall yesterday updated the costs of running Parliament in the last financial year.

It comes to £497m, down from £531m in 2007-08.

In 2008-09, the Lords cost £106.5m, down from £152.5m in 2007-08.

* Salaries, pensions, for Members — £18,988,000

Members of the House of Lords do not receive a salary but are entitled to reclaim reimbursement of expenses. This figure includes Members’ expenses.

* Salaries and pensions for admin staff — £22,964,000

* Accommodation costs, including rent, operating costs and security — £24,834,000

* Other administration costs — £39,754,000 (includes non-cash and capital expenditure).

There are 724 members of the House of Lords – an individual cost of more than £147,000.

In 2008-09 the Commons cost £391.8m, up from £379m in 2007-08.

* Salaries, pensions for MPs — £157,228,000

Includes MPs’ salaries & pensions, staffing allowance, incidental expenses provision, additional costs allowance, communications allowance (from 1 April 2007), travel, contribution to Members’ staff pensions, temporary secretarial assistance, staff redundancy and winding-up allowance only.

* Salaries and pensions for admin staff — £76,985,000

* Accommodation costs, including rent, operating costs and security — £94,896,000

Includes buildings rental, accommodation services and security, depreciation on land and buildings, and cost of capital charge.

* Other administration costs — £62,715,000

There are 646 MPs – they cost more than £600,00 each.

Baroness Royall also published the figures for the past three financial years – click here to read the full written answer.


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