Times of Sittings

House of Commons Commission written question – answered on 4th July 2012.

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Photo of Graham Stringer Graham Stringer Labour, Blackley and Broughton

To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the House of Commons Commission has made of the cost to the public purse of the House of Commons sitting in September 2012.

Photo of John Thurso John Thurso Chair, Finance and Services Committee

The marginal cost of September sittings is relatively low as most operating costs are fixed for the year as a whole and are unaffected by the number and distribution of sitting days. Marginal costs of a two week sitting in September are estimated to be around £200,000, mainly arising from the production of business papers and Hansard. If the September sitting is an alternative to sitting on more days at other times, the overall impact across the year will be less.

Major projects being undertaken this summer, notably the mechanical and electrical works in the Palace of Westminster including the corridor works on the Principal Floor, were planned around the known sitting dates. It is not possible, therefore, to accurately quantify any additional project costs arising from the House sitting in September 2012.

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