Gov's e-petition service cost £80k to develop

Taxpayer-shouting-at-bins website to stay

MPs might be trying their hardest to snub the government's e-petition website, but the Cabinet Office plans to keep the service running for at least the next three years.

The leader of the House of Commons confirmed in a written answer to Parliament yesterday that the design and creation of the e-petition site had cost the taxpayer £80,700.

"The projected technical running cost for the first three years of operation is £32,000 per annum," Sir George Young added.

We assume that's the annual pay packet for the poor sap who has to keep the site ticking over.

As we reported earlier this month, backbenchers are struggling to take the e-petition website seriously.

One MP, Natascha Engel, argued that the backbench biz committee was increasingly burdened with discussing whether or not Parliament should debate e-petitions which have crossed the 100,000 votes barrier.

She asked Young to consider giving the committee "some breathing space" until recommendations were forthcoming on how to deal with e-petitions over the rest of the Parliament.

The Leader of House rebuffed the Labour MP's request, stating that e-petitions were "a success in building a bridge between people and parliament and in ensuring that the House’s diet reflects the interests of those outside".

Bon appétit! ®

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