To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs
(1) what estimate she has made of the costs of countering fraud in postal voting across the UK during the next (a) national and (b) local elections;
(2) what the estimated costs are of countering fraud across the UK during the next (a) national and (b) local elections.
The Government have provided £21.1 million to cover the new measures introduced within the Electoral Administration Act 2006, and Representation of the People Regulations 2006, including new anti-fraud measures. In addition, we have committed up to £12.2 million, spread over 2006-07 and 2007-08, to provide to local authorities in England and Wales to cover the specific costs of implementing the absent voter personal identifiers provisions in the Electoral Administration Act 2006.
The precise amount of ongoing funding provided by local authorities to electoral services is not known at present. However, under the Electoral Administration Act 2006, the Electoral Commission will be able to obtain financial information from electoral administrators which will enable accurate data on electoral spending to be made available.
Funding for the running of the next General Election will be agreed at the appropriate time. That funding will include money for postal voting arrangements.