HC Deb 11 February 1993 vol 218 cc745-7W
Mr. McMaster

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table showing the advisory cost limit for answering written parliamentary questions in each year since 1980; what was the percentage increase in(a) constant and (b) actual terms in each year; when he next plans to uprate the limit; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dorrell

[pursuant to his reply, 22 January 1993, cols. 437–38]: The percentage increases shown at constant prices were incorrect. For completeness the amended answer is restated as follows:

Percentage increase since preceding change
Year Advisory cost limit for answering written parliamentary questions £ (a) At constant prices (indexed by GDP deflator) (b) Actual
11980 50
1981 50
1982 200 -32 +300
1983 200
1984 200
1985 200
1986 200
1987 200
1988 250 -1 +25
1989 250
1990 250
1991 250
1992 400 +21 +60
1 (Unchanged since 1965).

The advisory cost limit was last increased on 1992 and this followed a major review of costs in 1991.

The current level of £400 was fixed as a multiple of eight times the average marginal cost so that only cases of exceptional high cost might be affected and to avoid the need for frequent small increases.

The limit may be increased from time to time in future when costs or policy suggest the need for a change.

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