Member of Parliament for Clacton

Douglas Carswell

30 NOV 2015

Cutting the cost of politics

Local MP Douglas Carswell welcomed the government's decision in the Autumn Statement to cut Short Money funding to political parties, following UKIP's lead.

Short Money is public funding for non-government political parties, which must be used to support their parliamentary operations. Using a pre-determined funding formula which takes account of seats and votes in the general election, UKIP's entitlement this year was over £650,000. Douglas refused to spend that amount, returning hundreds of thousands of pounds back to the taxpayer.

The Chancellor announced on Wednesday that this taxpayer funded support would be cut by 19%, in part because UKIP forced a rethink on the matter. By not taking the full Short Money allowance, Douglas has demonstrated that Westminster politics can be done for less.

Other opposition parties are opposed to the cut. The Labour Party, which is entitled to £6.3m, described the move as "despicable."

Douglas said that "this is fantastic news for taxpayers up and down the country. The big establishment parties simply don't get it that politics can be done for so much less than they think. I made clear after the general election that UKIP would be taking some, but nothing like all, of the allocation we are allowed.

"Three cheers to Tendring Council for cutting their allowance by 16.5%. If local government can deliver more for less to the people of Essex, so too can Westminster and central government."

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