Thursday, February 22, 2007

The yearly cost of Early Day Motions

The cost of Early Day Motions has been a question that has arisen on this blog and elsewhere in the past few months. many people consider them a bit of a waste of time and to be honest that is a fair assessment for most of them. Unless an EDM gains hundreds of signatures no one really pays attention to it (except maybe me and some other saddos who want to take the piss).

The result is a system that exists primarily to allow backbenchers to be seen to be working, or to simply express outrage and something no one else really cares about. In the most extreme circumstances they get used to issue condolences to celebrities who's pets have died.

So how much do they cost the taxpayer? Well, in 2005-06, the cost of printing and publishing early day motions to the nearest grand was £627,000. The year before it was £614,000. Money well spent?

Don't panic though people, apparently the Procedure Committee are "looking at this matter". Phew!


Jonathan Sheppard said...

Dont worry Dizzy, today I saw a chap planting new clumps of grass under the trees in Portcullis House. You know - notyour normal lawn grass - but the more tropical looking stuff. It looked lovely. Not sure of the cost though. Hope you dont mind contributing to it.

Harry Barnes said...

Because a system is abused, it does not mean that it can't also be properly used. Early Day Motions can be and are used for serious purposes. All democratic processes have costs, that is no argument for doing away with them.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Harry - I agree to an extent - however if you look at some of the topics you surely cant deny some of them are a pointless waste of money. I wonder if the MP had to pay to table the EDM out of their own pocket how manyof them would still be tabled?

Is it a need to do,or a nice to do.Some of them have value. Many EDMs do not.

Newmania said...

All democratic processes have costs, that is no argument for doing away with them.

Well its not NO arguement for doing away with them but in the context of European costs it is a minnow

Anonymous said...

you forgot to add the time costs involved for civil servants who have to brief in response to them -which significantly adds to the cost