§ Mr. Milburn
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how much his Department has spent over the last five years on preparation for, and feasibility studies of, Post Office privatisation, indicating the amounts spent on(a) contracts with consultants and (b) the employment of full-time and part-time staff. 
§ Mr. Page
[holding answer 11 February 1997]: The amount spent on consultancy advice between July 1992 and the Government's decision in November 1994 not to proceed with legislation on the Post Office in the current Parliament was £1,613,002.28. The amount spent on 224W full-time and part-time staff working on matters relating to preparation for, or feasibility studies of, Post Office privatisation during this period could be established only at disproportionate cost.