Scandal of spiralling Westminster printing bill

Jo has been a strong campaigner for increasing the use of technology in Parliament

Jo Swinson has revealed a worrying trend in rising printing costs at Westminster.

Research by Ms Swinson has uncovered figures showing the relative costs of printing the Official Report (Hansard) and making it available online. The figures, obtained through Parliamentary Questions, show:

  • In 2006/07, the cost of printing Hansard was £22,000 per day, or approximately £12 per copy.
  • The cost of printing during the 2006/07 session rose by 22% compared to the cost during the 2005/06 session.
  • The cost of making Hansard available online during the same period was £1,100 per day, just 5% of the equivalent printing cost.

Commenting on the figures, Jo said:

“The Official Report is an essential resource and it is necessary to make it widely available in printed form. Worryingly though, the cost of printing the Official Report is going up every year, with copies costing a staggering £22,000 per day to print in the 2006/07 session.

“These figures show fewer copies of the Official Report being printed year-on-year. This being the case, printing costs should be coming down, but they are continuing to rise – they were up 22% in 2006/07 compared to the previous session.

“With the cost of providing Hansard online just 5% of the cost of printing, there is clearly a case to be made for Parliament moving more quickly into the digital age. Just as families and businesses across the country are tightening their belts, Parliament must do the same and look for ways to make savings.”

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