These are facts revealed by Andrew Sparrow's conscientious read through of the Commons library's Parliamentary Trends:
- MPs' 1911 salary, £400, was worth the equivalent of £35,079 in today's money. Today MPs are paid £64,766.
- Every year since 1998 the number of sitting days per session has fallen below the postwar average.
- In the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s it was common for parliament to pass 60 acts or more per year. Over the last decade 30 or 40 acts per year has been more normal. But they are getting A LOT longer. The acts passed in 1950 contained a total of 720 pages. The acts passed in 2006 contained more than 4,000 pages.
- There has been a "sharp increase" in the number of statutory instruments (a form of secondary legislation) issued each year, from around 2,000 a year until the 1980s to more than 3,000 a year now.
- In 2004 MPs sat for 160 days at Westminster. In France the National Assembly sat for 135 days, in Germany the Bundestag sat for 64 days, in Austria the national council sat for 33 days, in Belgium the House of Representatives sat for 45 days, in the Czech Republic the Chamber of Deputies sat for 68 days and in the Netherlands the House of Representatives sat for 97 days.
- Of those MPs elected in 2005, 60% of Tories went to private school. The figure for Labour was 18%, and for the Lib Dems 39%.
- Taxpayers spend £247,000 per MP, when all the costs of parliament are taken into account.
Read Andrew's full post.