Cutting the Cost of Westminster

The cost to the taxpayer of the Houses of Parliament, Ministerial Departments, the Home Civil Service and Whitehall-funded quangos is huge, running into hundreds of millions of pounds every year. UKIP believes we can make considerable savings at the same time as improving democratic accountability.

These savings include:

• Reducing the size of the House of Commons and ensuring parliamentary constituencies across the country are of equal size

• Abolishing government departments when their essential powers and functions can be merged into other departments. Such departments will include the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Department for International Development, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

• Reducing the number of secretaries of state, ministers and parliamentary undersecretaries-of-state and, accordingly, the size of government

• Cutting departmental running costs where they do not deliver value for money • Reducing the £7.2 million cost of paid advisers and bring more transparency to their appointment

• Abolishing unnecessary quangos such as the Cabinet Office’s ‘Big Society’ programme (£49 million), the National Citizen Service (£62 million), DfID’s International Citizen Service Volunteers (£110 million) and Defra’s Waste Resource Action Programme (£15.5 million)

• Clamping down on so-called ‘fake charities,’ or state-funded political activism

• Ending tax-payer funded overseas junketing and non-essential ‘fact-finding’ missions

• Ceasing all subsidies for bars and dining rooms in the Palace of Westminster

• Preventing MPs claiming expenses that are not incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of their duties, like every other member of society.

We anticipate investing savings made from cutting the cost of Westminster into a dedicated fund to contribute to the repair and maintenance of the beautiful and historic Palace of Westminster. The fabric of this building has been neglected and the estimated cost of essential repairs is currently £3 billion.