§ Ms Janet Anderson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, (1) by what amount he expects the cost of prisons to exceed the amount budgeted for 1995–96; 
(2) what is his current estimate of the total cost of holding prisoners for 1996–97, and what was his previous estimate. 
§ Miss Widdecombe
Responsibility for these matters has been delegated to the temporary director general of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Richard Tilt to Ms Janet Anderson, dated 29 November 1995:The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Questions asking by how much the cost of prison is expected to exceed the amount budgeted for 1995–96 and what is the current estimate of the total cost of holding prisoners for 1996–97, and what was the previous estimate.The present provision for 1995–96 in Class VIII, Vote 2, Prisons, England and Wales is £1,660,160,000. While the financial requirements of the Prison Service are regularly monitored, it would be premature to estimate what the final requirement will be. A clearer picture of whether additional provision will be required will emerge in February 1996, at the time of the Spring Supplementary Estimates.An announcement on the provision available for the Prison Service in 1996–97 will be made at the same time as the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget speech on 28 November.