I had thought that the so-called "Short money" was provided to opposition parties in order for them, among other things, to develop policy in the absence of access to civil servants which they would have had if they had been in government. However, the Independent today reveals that the Electoral Commission has a separate special fund "designed to help parties draft manifestoes and explore policy areas". Labour has received a total of £954,691 for this purpose since the last general election.
At the time of Labour's Manchester rally, I blogged an objection to the party's booting policy discussion into the long grass. It seems that we have been short-changed not only as electors but also as taxpayers.