In these times of cuts in social benefits, and when local authorities cannot get the resources to provide proper community care, was it not exorbitant for the House to spend £17 million, including £6 million on the kitchen in the Members Cafeteria? Every summer recess, the interior of the House resembles nothing more than one huge building site, and much of the work is repetitive and unnecessary. Is it not a higher priority to provide an escalator for elderly members of the public who have to tramp huffing and puffing up the stairs to reach the Strangers Gallery?
I quite understand and share the hon. Gentleman's desire for as much economy as possible. He must realise that what he proposes was fully debated in the House on 12 July 1994 and carried unanimously. We could not have continued without being closed down eventually, as we were clearly defying health and safety regulations. Everything that is done in the House is much more expensive than it would be elsewhere because this is a grade I listed building.
Does my right hon. Friend agree that it is right that the House should no longer hide behind Crown immunity and that it should face up to its responsibilities, and that much of the expenditure incurred to which the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Mr. Wareing) referred was related to improving the conditions of those who work in the Palace? Should we not comply with the legislation with which we make others outside comply?