Monday 19 October 2009

What's going on at Westminster?

The House of Commons Library has recently published a Research Paper which is a goldmine of statistics about the work carried out at Westminster. The number of Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments passed each year from 1950 to date is set out in Table One. Parliament certainly has a higher quantity of output, though the number of Acts passed has decreased. (though to be fair, 720 pages of Acts were the output in 1950 - in 2006 it was 4,609!). There are also historic tables of the numbers of divisions (Table 6); Parliamentary Questions (Table 7) and EDMs (Table 8)

Other tables set out information about the ages, sex, occupations and ethnicity of MPs. The Lords are not forgotten - though there are fewer Peers today. In 1968-69 there were 1,064. By 1998-99 there were 1.325. At the end of the last session there were 'only' 744.

For those who (wrongly) imagine that the House of Lords is an idle place, The graph on p47 shows the steady rise in the average daily attendance. The steep increase in the number of instances per Parliament where the House of Lords has insisted on its amendments to a bill is shown in Table 35.

The costs of Parliament are set out on pages 51-63.

There is information about the way Parliament communicates with the public - the data though has not yet caught up with the explosion in "tweeting".

Some useful data on international comparisons is reproduced. There is 1 MP per 94,000 people in the UK - wheras the House of Representatives has 1 Congressman for 696,000 people. An MP is paid £60,675 while a Congressman takes home the equivalent of £101,975.