Registration fee for lobbying list to hit £1,000
Since April this year third party lobbyists have been forced to sign up to a statutory register disclosing the names of their clients.
The registration costs are paid by the lobbyists, and had so far been set at £700.
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Cabinet Office parliamentary secretary Lord Bridges has tabled an amendment to increase the fee.
Lord Bridges was himself lobbyist for Quiller consultants before being granted a life peerage by David Cameron in May 2015. He has also held a number of senior posts at CCHQ.
The Tory peer stated that he had laid the amendment “to increase the annual charge per registered consultant lobbyist in connection with the maintenance of the register from £700 to £950”.
told Public Affairs Newsthat with the fee of £12.50 per quarter factored in, the total cost imposed each year on registrants would now be £1,000.
The fee hike has prompted the three main bodies representing lobbyists in the UK - CIPR, PRCA and APPC - to take the unusual step of issuing a joint statement.
"This cost increase, which is being introduced without effective consultation, is a direct consequence of poor planning by the Cabinet Office,” said the statement.
"The lobbying industry has consistently warned the Cabinet Office that their estimate of 700 third-party lobbyists joining the register was unrealistic.
“Currently 113 lobbyists are signed up – just 15% of the Government’s estimate.
"As it stands, the Government does not know whether 113 is a baseline or maximum capacity for the register.
“If the annual running cost of the register was to be met by those currently registered the fees would be unreasonably high.
“This effectively means a self-funding register of lobbyists based on this model is unviable.”
The register cost more than £264,000 to run over the last year, the latest records show. However it only brought in £2,463 in registration fees.