Short Money

Short Money

Short Money is the common name given to the annual payment to Opposition parties in the United Kingdom House of Commons to help them with their costs. It is named after Edward Short (now Lord Glenamara), the-then Leader of the House of Commons who first proposed the payments.


Short Money was introduced by the Harold Wilson Government of 197476 following a commitment in the Queen’s Speech of 12 March 1974: "My Ministers will consider the provision of financial assistance to enable Opposition parties more effectively to fulfil their Parliamentary functions".

Edward Short fleshed out the proposal in a statement on Members’ allowances in July 1974:

A similar scheme, Cranborne Money, operates in the House of Lords — it is named after Viscount Cranborne who was the Leader of the House of Lords when it was introduced on 27 November 1996.

Provision of Short Money

The current scheme is administered under a Resolution of the House of Commons of 26 May 1999. 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
# Funding for the opposition parties’ travel and associated expenses
# Funding for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office

Short Money is not available to parties whose Members have not sworn the Oath of Allegiance (such as Sinn Féin) because it was introduced to offer assistance for 'parliamentary duties'. A separate scheme (introduced on 8 February 2006) provides funds to parties 'represented by Members who have chosen not to take their seats', providing for 'expenses wholly, exclusively and necessarily incurred for the employment of staff and related support to Members designated as that party’s spokesman in relation to the party’s representative business'. This is calculated on the same terms as Short Money.

Other opposition parties have access to Short Money to support parliamentary business only and no equivalent extension for representative work has been announced for them.

2007/2008 allocations

; General funding for Opposition Parties : From 1 April 2007, eligible parties receive £13,356 for every seat won at the last election plus £26.67 for every 200 votes gained by the party.; Travel Expenses for Opposition Parties : From 1 April 2007, £146,714 is apportioned between each of the Opposition parties in the same proportion as the amount given to each of them under the 'General Funding' scheme set out above.; Leader of the Opposition’s Office : £622,223 is available for the running costs of the Leader of the Opposition’s office for the financial year commencing on 1 April 2007. In addition, the Leader of the Opposition, the Opposition Chief Whip and the Assistant Opposition Whip receive a salary from public funds, on top of their parliamentary salary: £70,497, £39,893 and £25,673 respectively.

See also

* Cranborne Money

External links

* [ Short Money] — Research notes from the UK Parliament website (PDF)

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