Parliamentary Questions

Treasury written question – answered on 11th April 2002.

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Photo of Barbara Follett Barbara Follett Labour, Stevenage

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to raise the advisory cost limit of £550 for answering written parliamentary questions; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ruth Kelly Ruth Kelly Economic Secretary, HM Treasury

The advisory cost limit was last increased in 2000, Official Record, 15 May 2000, column 47W and is to be further increased to £600 from today.

The purpose and application of the advisory cost limit remains unchanged. It is intended to act as a threshold for disproportionate cost parliamentary questions (PQs). Any written PQ where the marginal cost of preparing the answer is considered likely to exceed the threshold may be refused in whole or in part on the grounds of disproportionate cost. Alternatively the Minister may decide that the PQ is to be answered irrespective of cost. There is no advisory limit for oral PQs.

The advisory limit continues to be based on eight times the average marginal cost for written PQs, which is now £75, rounded down to the nearest £50 for convenience of application.

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