The Cabinet Office releases details about the expenses incurred in conducting the UK snap election 2017. The new data shows that it cost £140 million for holding the UK snap election. The department only released the data after it was forced to ask for more money for covering the costs of voting.
Statement by Cabinet Office on UK Snap Election
Chris Skidmore, one of the Cabinet Office Ministers, revealed in a written statement about the details of the UK snap election 2017. The particulars of the costs include £98 million spent on election by the polling officers for voting and £42 million spent on posted material.
The amount of £140 million is an increase compared to the previous UK elections held in 2010 and 2015. The country spent £113 million in 2010 and £123 million in 2015 on elections.
UK Snap Election has cost almost the same amount of money which the British Government devoted to conducting the EU Referendum. The country spent £142 million in holding the EU Referendum.
Why Did UK Snap Election 2017 Cost So Much Money?
There is an increase in cost for conducting the polls. The first reason is that it was held as a stand-alone event. In the past, polls are combined with the local elections, typically the ones held in May. Secondly, the costs also include expenses paid for postal votes sent via mail by millions of voters, ballot papers, poll cards, and personnel required to conduct the elections. Furthermore, the costs also include winding up expenses for those MPs who have lost the jobs after the election.
Money Paid to Northern Ireland
The UK snap election 2017 has been a political blunder by Theresa May. Besides losing many seats in parliament, she was hardly able to salvage her position as the British Prime Minister. On top of being a political gamble, the government had to offer an extra £1bn to Northern Ireland. Therefore, the government needed the support of DUP in the parliament to form a government and somehow survive.
Criticism on Theresa May’s Election Spending
Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Minister, criticized Theresa May. He stated that she was left with the egg on her face and the taxpayers are picking up the bill. Furthermore, he said that the Prime Minister had stated that the government did not have a magic tree to give nurses a pay rise. However, he maintained that she could still spend £140 million on elections.
Warning to Theresa May Against Calling for the UK Election
Theresa May was warned that she should not carry a UK election because it may turn out to be a significant political risk. In an April memo, she was pre-warned that the voters did not want an election. However, despite all the advice on not going for the election, she did opt for a dicey political gamble.