After winning 3.9 million votes and just one seat, UKIP was entitled to £619,128 of Short Money last year. Their sole MP Douglas Carswell refused to take the full amount, sparking a bitter row with Nigel Farage, and irritating those in party HQ who had to find the money to pay staff wages. Something that did not always happen.
Admirably Carswell believes it is wrong to have too much taxpayer-funded politics. So on that basis UKIP is returning £322,441 of the entitlement back to the taxpayer. That is a 52% rebate to the taxpayer…
The largest area of expenditure for the UKIP parliamentary resource unit was naturally on staff salaries, pensions and NI contributions. For the money the PRU published policy papers, conducted research into upcoming legislation and prepared written parliamentary questions – as well as producing videos.
Last year to help with the deficit George Osborne tried to cut the total Short Money bill by 28%, in the end Labour beat that down to a real terms 5% cut. However since then most of the Shadow Cabinet has resigned, meaning their many attendant staff also lost their jobs. Labour will therefore have a significant underspend this year. How much of the £6 million budget given this year to Labour will be rebated to the taxpayer?