Policy paper

Short money allocations: request for views

The government seeks views of House of Commons political parties on taxpayer funding of opposition parties for parliamentary business.

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Details

Short money is taxpayer funding of opposition parties in the House of Commons to assist with parliamentary business.

At the Spending Review and Autumn Statement, the government said that short money allocations would be reduced by 19%. This reduction is in line with the average savings asked of non-protected Whitehall departments over this Spending Review. The government now wishes to seek the views of the political parties in the House of Commons on how these short money savings should be implemented.

The government seeks views from:

  • members of the Parliamentary Parties Panel
  • the other political parties and individuals which were elected to seats in the House of Commons in the 2015 general election
  • the Clerk of the House

The government is also open to further discussions with the political parties as part of this request.

John Penrose, Minister for Constitutional Reform, said:

There has been a massive stealth increase in the cost of taxpayer funding of political parties. Without any public debate, Short money has soared by 50% since 2010. We need to cut the cost of politics to help pay off the deficit. Doing nothing is not an option, as the cost to taxpayers is set to spiral further.

Even with the government’s proposed savings, there will have been no real terms cut since 2010, and spending will remain at 2014 to 2015 levels in cash terms. If councils of all political colours can make efficiencies to protect frontline services, the public will rightly ask why taxpayer-funded political parties can’t deliver these reasonable savings and do their bit.

Published 18 February 2016