MP's questions cost 11.5 million euros a year
Dutch ministries spent 11.5 million euros in 2011 on answering questions from MPs – an average of 3750 euros a question. The figures are based on Interior Ministry calculations, according to a report to be published in Saturday’s edition Dutch daily AD.
In 2004, the department estimated that the bill for answering a written or verbal question in parliament came to just 1750 euros.
The Interior Ministry figures also reveal that it costs 7500 to pass a resolution and 15,000 euros for civil servants to prepare a debate. In total the ministries spend 30 million euros a year serving the needs of parliament.
The figures were requested by the chair of the VVD parliamentary party, Stef Blok. He objects to what he sees as a waste of government money, and urges his fellow MPs show restraint in the number of questions they put forward.
“Every party manifesto said we have to make civil service cutbacks,” Mr Blok tells AD. “But the Lower House itself creates vast amounts of bureaucracy with resolutions and questions that are just for effect.”
In recent years there has been a spectacular rise in the number of questions in parliament with no apparent benefit to the running of the country, Mr Blok says.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide