Government cuts to Short money watered down in 'deal'

Posted On: 
23rd March 2016

Ministers have made a major concession on plans to slash funding for opposition parties in a deal that will see some £3m of public money saved.

The figure is a far cry from the £11m the Government originally wanted to claw back under an effective cut of 28% over the course of the current parliament.

George Osborne intended to link the funding, allocated to opposition parties based on seats and vote share, to Retail Price Index inflation.

But a deal linking the cash to Consumer Prices Index inflation has been agreed instead.

The plan, which was apparently negotiated by Tory chief whip Mark Harper and his Labour counterpart Rosie Winterton, amounts to a real terms cut of 5%.

Leader of the House of Commons Chris Grayling said the deal followed “constructive discussions” with other parties and reflected the need for an effective opposition.

“These balanced and reasonable proposals will deliver a significant saving of taxpayers’ money, reducing expenditure by 10.6% compared to forecast levels, and will further extend the government’s ongoing transparency agenda,” Mr Grayling said in a statement.

The deal will be put to MPs in a House of Commons vote this evening.