A scheme for providing financial assistance to the Opposition and second largest opposition party in the House of Lords to assist them in carrying out their parliamentary business was introduced in October 1996. Known as 'Cranborne Money', the scheme was extended to cover the Convenor of the Crossbench Peers in October 1999
The rates payable for the 2016/17 financial year are as follows:
- £587,117 for Labour from 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017
- £293,142 for the Liberal Democrats from 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017
- £89,165 for the office of the Convenor of the Crossbench Peers from 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017.
Under the scheme, the parties and Convenor are responsible for ensuring that the expenses claimed are incurred exclusively in relation to their parliamentary business. At the end of each financial year they provide a certificate from an independent professional auditor to confirm this.