HC Deb 16 September 2003 vol 410 c664W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was paid to witnesses in criminal proceedings in each of the last 10 years. [127659]

The Solicitor-General

I have been asked to reply.

The following table shows the amounts paid to prosecution witnesses in each of the last six years. It is not possible to provide figures for the last 10 years as records have only been kept consistently since 1996 following the introduction of a new accounting system. The figures are broken down between expert witness fees, foreign witness expenses and ordinary and professional witness allowances.

Allowances paid to expert witnesses are discretionary. Guidance is provided to staff when paying expert witness fees. Rates of payment for ordinary witness allowances which include loss of earnings, travel and subsistence and, where appropriate, overnight, overnight allowances, are prescribed by the Crown Prosecution Service (Witnesses' allowances) Regulations 1988 which set out maximum rates payable.

All rates are reviewed annually and any increases in the rates set out in the Regulation are approved by HM Treasury.

Expert witness fees Foreign witness expenses Ordinary/ professional witness allowances Total
1997–98 3,482,667 463,670 7,124,681 11,071,018
1998–99 3,790,877 458,976 6,744,345 10,994,198
1999–2000 4,039,521 479,969 6,306,982 10,826,472
2000–01 4,331,570 449,355 6,491,143 11,272,068
2001–02 4,664,002 375,687 6,573,290 11,612,979
2002–03 5,067,840 436,840 6,644,757 12,149,437