Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Short Money

"Short money" is an annual payment to the opposition parties in the Commons to help them with the costs incurred in performing their parliamentary functions.

It takes its name from former Labour MP Ted Short who was instrumental in its introduction as leader of the House of Commons in 1974 and 1975.

The amount payable is worked out according to the number of seats a party has and the amount of votes that the party received at the last election.

The equivalent of Short money in the Lords is known as Cranborne money, named after the then leader of the Lords Viscount Cranborne.

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