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Record Copies of Acts

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:36 pm on 20th April 2016.

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Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 6:36 pm, 20th April 2016

I am delighted that Robert Jenrick takes such a close interest in Great Grimsby’s fantastic history. However, we are talking about today, not the 1200s.

The Minister has said that the process is surprisingly cost-effective, and the hon. Member for North Wiltshire has said that keeping vellum costs little or nothing. However, the cost to Parliament of producing vellum in 2014-15 was £107,000. As Sir Paul Beresford mentioned, using the most expensive parchment paper would cost just £8,000. You know what they say, Mr Deputy Speaker: “£100,000 here, £100,000 there—it soon starts to add up to real money.”

The Lords Committee cited a more conservative estimate of a saving of £80,000 a year from scrapping vellum. However, that does not take into account the renewal of the printing contract, under which the cost is likely to be greater than under the current arrangements, and nor does that take account of the cost of producing and printing the mammoth HS2 hybrid Bill, should that ever pass into law. At 49,000 pages long, I hate to think how many goats it will take to produce two copies.