Government’s prison building programme will cost double the original figure

The cost of the government’s prison building programme has been estimated at £2.3bn – almost double the original figure put to parliament.

Jack Straw

Justice secretary Jack Straw revealed the figure at a select committee hearing yesterday.

When Straw announced the initiative last month, he said he had agreed a £1.2bn funding package for the development programme.

The government is intending to provide an extra 10,500 jail spaces by 2014, including up to three “super prisons”.

Andrew Tyrie, the Conservative MP, said: “It was highly misleading of Jack Straw in his statement, which was considered a carefully prepared statement, to imply that the cost of implementing the proposals to 2014 would be covered by £1.2bn.”