REVEALED: Theresa May's snap election cost taxpayers £140 million

Posted On: 
13th September 2017

Theresa May's decision to call the snap general election cost taxpayers £140 million, it has been revealed.

A grim-faced Theresa May and her husband Philip stand outside Number 10 the morning after the election.
PA Images

Cabinet Office minister Chris Skidmore revealed the huge cost of staging the poll in a written ministerial answer.

It showed that £98,310,000 was spent covering fees and expenses incurred by Returning Officers in running the election in their areas.

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A further £42,540,000 covered the cost of the Royal Mail sending out election addresses to voters across the UK.

If it is added to the cost of the confidence and supply deal the Prime Minister was forced to strike with the DUP in order to get a working Commons majority, it means the election cost the public purse a total of £1.14 billion.

The revelation is embarrassing for the Prime Minister as it comes at a time when she is under intense pressure to lift the 1% pay cap on public sector wage rises.

Prison staff and police officers found out yesterday that they will receive increases of 1.7% and 2% respectively in the year ahead.

But critics have insisted that is not enough, and demanded that other state employees should also benefit.

Lib Dem chief whip Alistair Carmichael said: “Not only has May spent over £140 million of public money on an election, her failure in that election forced her to bung £1 billion more of our money to the DUP.

"The British taxpayer is paying for May’s mistakes. Yet she tightens the purse strings when it comes to paying for our essential services or giving nurses a pay rise. She takes lessons from Ebenezer Scrooge when it comes to the people but Wayne Rooney when it comes to her vanity.

"It is a frightening prospect for this country that someone this poor with the public purse is left in charge."

Meanwhile, the Police Federation has accused Mrs May of telling a "downright lie" after she claimed their members had seen their pay rise by 32% since 2010.

The Prime Minister said pay hikes for promotions, alongside basic salary increases and rises in the income tax threshold, had seen a real terms wages growth of £9,000 for officers.

But Calum Macleod, the vice chair of the Police Federation, said the comment showed the Government had “lost touch with reality”.