HC Deb 30 January 1995 vol 253 c505W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the weekly limit of private cash that a prison inmate in prisons in England and Wales is allowed to spend.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 30 January 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the weekly limit which prisoners are allowed to spend from private cash. The private cash limit for convicted prisoners is expressed in annual rather than weekly terms. The basic national limit, set in 1987, is £115 and excludes phonecards and newspapers. Higher levels can be set by governors with their area managers' agreement and some establishments have separate allowances for items such as hobbies materials and food. There are no such limits applying in general to unconvicted prisoners. In his statement to the House on 19 December 1994 about the Woodcock enquiry into events at Whitemoor, the Home Secretary announced that amounts of private cash that prisoners are permitted to spend will be reduced, and in time the use of unearned private cash will be eliminated altogether.