To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2022 to Question 96953 on Big Ben: Repairs and Maintenance, what the estimated additional cost is for (a) the four-month site closure in 2020, (b) investment in covid-19 secure measures and (c) the reduced productivity on site until November 2020.
The total cost to date of covid-19 impacts on the project, including the four-month site closure in 2020, investment in covid-19 secure measures and the reduced productivity on site until November 2020, is £5.7m, including VAT. These costs are met from the approved £9m provision, listed in the answer to Question 96953.
This figure has been scrutinised by independent consultants, who are confident in the financial projections that have been developed by teams in the House Service, recognising the exceptionality of the project and its highly specific requirements.
Parliament’s teams have mitigated against the financial impact of coronavirus, working collaboratively and positively with contractors to reduce the impact to the taxpayer, and ensuring that costs paid by Parliament are proportionate to its contractual obligations. The project’s teams continue to meet the challenges posed by this complex conservation and enjoy the support of the leadership of both Houses in their delivery and approach.