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MPs concerned renovation of parliament is “not worth value for money”.

News   •   Jan 18, 2017 09:19 GMT

The Treasury committee are to launch inquiry into £4Bn Parliament refurbishment.

MPs have launched an inquiry into the planned renovation of the Palace of West Minister, following a lack of sufficient evidence to justify the spending.

The committee is exploring different cost options, and will suggest in a letter to David Lidington, leader of the House of Commons, that the net present cost calculations do not align with the Treasury’s “green book” on best practice in discounting.

Andrew Tyrie, Chairman of the Treasury committee, said: “The restoration and renewal programme is estimated to cost between £3.5Bn and £4Bn over five to eight years. Neither the report by Deloitte nor that by the joint commission provides enough of the evidence needed to come even to a preliminary decision on these proposals.

“So the Treasury committee will attempt to collect some of it. This is why the committee has called for evidence on this massive, and hugely expensive, restoration project. The proposals certainly need thorough scrutiny.”

MPs and peers had warned the palace risks a “crisis” without repairs. A joint parliamentary committee of MPs and peers were appointed to examine the refurbishment options, and suggested that all MPs and peers should vacate both Houses of Parliament for six years during the works, and said the plans should not be delayed any further.

It has been said that due to the age of the Grade I-listed building, and the severe effects of asbestos, fragile stonework and ageing electrics and wiring, the building would be knocked down if it was not protected.

Chris Bryant, a Labour MP on the committee, said: “All the evidence points to having to move out of the whole palace simultaneously. That is the lowest-risk, most cost-effective and quickest option.”

The project could cost up to £4bn and take five to eight years to complete.

A decision on whether to press ahead with a full of partial evacuation is expected in the coming weeks.

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