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Will Labour reduce its burden on the taxpayer?


Wednesday 17th November 2010 (Andrew Griffiths)
Will Labour reduce its burden on the taxpayer?

Andrew is today writing to Ed Miliband and calling on him to voluntarily give up part of the Labour Party’s taxpayer-funded grant.

While Government departments have had to make necessary reductions in budgets by 19 per cent and ministerial pay has been cut by 5 per cent in order to clean up the mess left by Labour, new research shows that Labour’s bill to the taxpayer has soared 21 per cent to nearly £6 million a year.

Although opposition parties are entitled to ‘short money’ to help them meet the cost of their Parliamentary duties, new evidence shows how Labour are showing no restraint in their spending of taxpayers’ money:

  • Labour’s bill to the taxpayer is up 21 per cent to nearly £6 million. This year Labour will receive £5,748,240 in Short Money, 21 per cent more than the Conservatives received in 2009-10.
  • Ed Miliband’s office now receives over half a million pounds. This year Ed Miliband’s office will receive £668,606 in Short Money, an increase of 2.3 per cent on what the Conservatives received in 2009-10.
  • Labour goes on a £1 million recruitment spree. Since the General Election, Labour have advertised for at least 32 new employees, including two economic advisors, with salaries ranging from £23,000 to £37,000.

“Just as in Government, Labour in opposition have gone on a spending spree with taxpayers’ money.”

“At a time when Government departments and ministers are having to cut costs in order to deal with Labour’s economic legacy, it simply isn’t right for the party responsible to go on accepting more money from the public purse.”

“If Labour are serious about clearing up the mess they left behind, they should voluntarily give up the £1 million worth of short money to bring them in line with the restraint shown by other parts of Government.”

Letter to Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband MP

House of Commons
London
SW1A 0AA

16th November 2010

Dear Ed,

I am writing to you regarding the amount of taxpayer-funded ‘short money’ received by the Labour Party.

According to research published by the House of Commons, the Labour Party will receive the equivalent of nearly £6 million in short money this year. This is 21 per cent more than the Conservatives received in 2009-10.

In addition, I understand that your personal office will receive £668,606 in short money this year, which represents an increase of 2.3 per cent on what the Conservative Leader of the Opposition received in 2009-10.

You have previously said that you are ‘serious about reducing the deficit’ and that ‘there will have to be reductions in public spending.’ Given this, and the Coalition Government’s action to reduce departmental expenditure to deal with the huge deficit left by the previous Government, which you were a part of, I believe it is right that the Labour Party also set an example to the public and show it is not immune to spending reductions.

Therefore, I am calling on you to voluntarily forfeit 19 per cent – the same average amount that departmental budgets have been reduced – of the short money the Labour Party receives. This is, I believe, is both an achievable and reasonable amount – the Labour Party would still be entitled to well over £4.5 million per annum under a reduced settlement.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Griffiths

Member of Parliament for Burton & Uttoxeter

 Figure 1

Short money allocations (£)

 

 

 

 

2009-10

2010-11 Pre Election

2010-11 Post Election

2010-11

 

 

(1 April – 5 May) 35 days

(6 May – 31 March) 330 days

Whole year equivalent

Conservative

4,757,906.12

                                  467,173

n/a

n/a

Labour

n/a

 n/a

5,197,039

5,748,240

Liberal Democrat

1,749,385.30

                                  171,768

n/a

n/a

SNP

145,332.53

                                    14,270

145,610

161,053

Plaid Cymru

175.91

                                      6,694

62,085

68,670

DUP

163,986.90

                                    16,102

129,249

142,957

SDLP

61,118.24

                                      6,001

54,832

60,648

Green

   

51,326

56,770

     
               

 

  • Ed Miliband’s office now receives over half a million pounds. Equivalising what Ed Miliband’s office has received in Short Money since the General Election for the whole year, this year Ed Miliband’s office will receive £668,606 from Short Money, an increase of 2.3 per cent on what the Conservatives received in 2009-10 (Ibid.) (See Figure 2)

 

Figure 2: Allocation to the Leader of the Opposition

  £
1999/00 500,000.00
2000/01 513,000.00
2001/02 524,799.00
2002/03 531,621.39
2003/04 548,101.65
2004/05 563,448.50
2005/06 583,169.00
2006/07 595,999.00
2007/08 622,223.00
2008/09 647,112.00
2009/10 652,936.00
2010/11 668,606.00

Labour goes on a £1 million recruitment spree

  • Since the General Election Labour have advertised for at least 32 new employees with salaries well above the average.
  • At Labour’s 2010 Conference the party advertised for 21 new positions at their London Head Office. The salary advertised for each post ranged from £23,000 for an administration support assistant to £37,000 for a head of media planning (Labour Party, At Conference, 27 September 2010) (See Figure 3 at the end)
  • Since then they have also advertised for:
    A political advisor to the Secretary of State for Scotland, salary based on experience (W4mp, 3 November 2010).
    An administrator for their Labour North Office with a salary of £20,000 (W4mp, 2 November 2010).

Two economic advisors, salaries based on experience (W4mp, 29 October 2010).

  • Estimating that three advertised advisory posts with undisclosed salaries will receive a salary of £30,000, and that posts advertised in the plural are for two positions, Labour have spent at least £976,000 on new employees.

Notes

Short Money

  • Short Money. Short Money is made available to all opposition parties in the House of Commons that secured either two seats or one seat and more than 150,000 votes at the previous General Election. The scheme has three components:
  • Funding to assist an opposition party in carrying out its Parliamentary business – £14,351 for every seat won plus £28.66 for every 200 votes gained by the party
  • Funding for the opposition parties’ travel and associated expenses – £157,651 apportioned between each of the opposition parties in the same proportion as under the basic funding scheme above.
  • Funding for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office – £668,606 for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2010.

Ed Miliband on the need to reduce the deficit

  • ‘There is a need for both reductions in public spending and tax rises’ (Ed Miliband, Left Foot Forward, David and Ed Miliband answer questions for Left Foot Forward, 6 September 2010).
  • ‘I am serious about reducing our deficit’ (Ed Miliband, Speech to the Labour Party Conference, 28 September 2010).
  • ‘There will have to be reductions in public spending’ (Ed Miliband, The Andrew Marr Show, 26 September 2010).

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