HC Deb 30 June 1997 vol 297 cc11-2W
Mr. Bob Russell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the estimated cost savings attributed by his Department to privately managed prisons is accounted for by(a) lower pay and shorter pay scales, (b) longer working hours, (c) less generous pension provision and (d) less generous provision in respect of sick pay and holidays; and which of these policies he proposes to introduce to the publicly managed Prison Service. [5803]

Ms Joyce Quin

A research report published on 29 October 1996, a copy of which is in the Library, showed that on 1995–96 figures, prisons operated by the private sector are 11–17 per cent. cheaper than comparable prisons operated in the public sector. A further study is now under way, with the co-operation of contractors, to define in more detail how the private sector operators achieve lower operating costs. The work is not yet completed, and I will consider the implications of its findings when I receive the final report.