The Scotsman

Brexit agenda Commons costs £500m


Parliament cost more than half a billion pounds to run last year – with Brexit consuming most of MPS’ and peers’ time, a new report has found.

Analysis of the House of Commons annual accounts and figures from the Independen­t Parliament­ary Standards Authority by a leading think tank has revealed that around£551million­oftaxpayer­s’ money was needed to run the estate last year.

The Institute for Government (IFG), which collated the figures, found that the salaries and expenses of parliament­ar- ians amounted to less than half the total figure at £181 million.

House staff and goods cost around £200 million and the remaining costs were made up from grants, rental payments and members services.

A key finding of the report was that Brexit took up the majority of session time.

One in eight select committee inquiries focused on Brexit, with many more touching on related issues.

The EU (Withdrawal) Act took nearly a year and more than 273 hours of debate to become law – three times as long as the second-most debated piece of legislatio­n (the Sanctions and Anti-money Laundering Act).

The research also examined the amount of time MPS spent voting, as with each vote an MP has to walk through the aye or no lobby.

Dr Hannah White, director of research at the IFG, said: “This report sets out what Parliament has done, how well it is working, and the key questions it needs to ask itself to ensure it is as effective as possible.”

The IFG warned that in the coming years the restoratio­n and renewal of the Palace of Westminste­r will be a “major area of capital expenditur­e”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom