Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Government says it costs too much to answer a Parliamentary Question?

It appears the Government, not content with restricting its own freedom of information legislation on the basis of cost, is now using the same argument in relation to its answers to Parliamentary questions.

In response to a question yesterday by Dr. Alasdair McDonnell (SDLP) which asked "how much was spent in Northern Ireland on advertising working tax credits in each of the last five years." The Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo responded that the "information could be provided only at disproportionate cost."

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Have a look at some of the questions asked of Liam Byrne about Home Office statistics. This response is a classic way of saying stop asking us questions that we can't answer!!

Benedict White said...

This is bonkers. Firstly there should have been a budget, secondly they should no if its been met or exceeded. These figures should be redily to hand. If not they are just very incompetent. If they are to hand then they are liars.

Sir Bentley Pauncefoot said...

Surely the way to deal with this sort of thing is to adopt the BBC TV Tax Approach, viz.

"But this so-called disproportionate cost is less than the price of a bag of crisps/mars bar/pint of milk/crate of brown ale* per person/household/family/town* per day/week/month/year* and therefore actually represents outstanding value. In fact our polling shows that 325% of the population would happily pay twice as much..."

*arrange deletions to taste

Anonymous said...

DP used to be a fervent Bennite (not Hillary) who lived with a fellow 'friend of wedgewood' Meg Crack in Bristol South in a very unusual relationship. One old colleague, puzzled by Dawn's current incarnation as a happy housewife remarked that they could "remember when she used to be a lesbian."