§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the President of the Council what the percentage change has been in the money supplied to the Leader of the Opposition's office in each year since 1997. 
§ Mrs. Beckett
The Leader of the Opposition's Office allowance started only in 1999, initially at a level of £500,000 per annum; this increases annually by the RPI percentage rate as at 31 March.
The April 2000 increase was 2.6 per cent., which increased the payment to £513,000.