§ Mr. Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the total staff costs for No. 10 Downing Street in(a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98 and (c) 1998–99 indicating separately the costs for (i) private secretaries, (ii) Policy Unit staff, (iii) Press Office staff, (iv) Strategic Communications Unit staff, (v) all support staff and (vi) Political Office staff. 
§ The Prime Minister
[holding answer 30 April 1998]: The total staff costs for No. 10 Downing Street were £3.4 million in 1996/97 and £4.1 million in 1997/98. Estimated costs for 1998/99 are £4.9 million. Due to changes to the accounting systems, it is not possible to give a breakdown of the 1996/97 figures as requested which means that a meaningful comparison with subsequent years cannot be drawn. The cost of the Political Office does not fall to the Government.