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Policy Development Grant

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what plans the Electoral Commission has to review the allocation of policy development grant following the 2005 general election results; and what the payment was to each eligible party in 2006-07. (89803)

Policy development grant (PDG) is payable by the Electoral Commission, in accordance with a scheme made by order of the Secretary of State following the submission of recommendations by the Commission, to registered parties which have at least two Members of the House of Commons who have taken the Oath and are not disqualified from sitting or voting in the House.

The Commission is required to keep the terms of the scheme under review, and to make recommendations to the Secretary of State for any variation it considers appropriate. Following the 2005 general election, the Ulster Unionist party ceased to be eligible for PDG with effect from 1 April 2006 as it no longer had the requisite qualifying number of Members in the House. The Electoral Commission recommended a revised scheme to the Secretary of State which came into effect on 1 April 2006. Under the new scheme, the same overall sum as under the previous scheme is distributed between the seven remaining eligible parties.

PDG is paid in arrears against claims submitted by eligible parties in respect of qualifying expenditure. The 2006-07 allocations and payments to date are:

£

Party

2006-07 allocation

Total payments to date

Balance remaining

Conservative and Unionist Party

457,997

223,934

234,063

Democratic Unionist Party

155,786

64,666

91,120

Labour Party

457,997

0

457,997

Liberal Democrats

457,997

149,775

308,222

Plaid Cymru

151,894

54,985

96,909

Scottish National Party

162,542

117,774

44,769

Social Democratic and Labour Party

155,786

0

155,786

Total

1,999,999

611,135

1,388,864

Note:

All figures rounded to the nearest pound.