The Progressive Conservative government will raise the threshold for official party status, making it even more difficult for the shrunken Liberal caucus to become a recognized party in the Legislature.

Government sources tell CTV News Toronto the new measures, which will be introduced in the Fall Economic Statement on Thursday, will require any official party to net at least 10 per cent of the seats in the legislature, or a minimum of 12 seats.

The legislation would increase the threshold from the current eight seats required to form official party status, which comes with millions of dollars in admisitrative, research and staffing costs.

The move would greatly affect the Liberal party, which is currently one seat shy of official party status.

Interim Liberal Leader John Fraser has been making a case for increased participation in legislative debates and increased funding.

“Since the legislature returned, our caucus has tried many times to engage the government to discuss ensuring that the voices of 1.1 million Ontarians who voted Liberal in the last election could be heard effectively in our legislature.” Fraser said in a statement.

“The government may move the goal posts but it still has a responsibility to ensure the voices of 1.1 million Ontarians are effectively supported.”

While government sources say the measure would result in cost savings, taxpayers would only save money if more than one party doesn’t achieve recognized party status.

The last time any party gained fewer than 12 seats was in October 2007 when the NDP, under the leadership of Howard Hampton, were elected in just 10 ridings.

The funding formula is not expected to change.

Here is a breakdown of the current funding formula:

For administration:
Base funding: $571,100
Additional funding per MPP: $23,488

For research:
Base funding: $571,100
Additional funding per MPP: $23,488

For Leader’s Office:
Base funding: $451,000
Additional funding per MPP: $19,599

For office automation:
Base funding: $129,800
Additional funding per MPP: $1,463

There are 124 seats in the Ontario Legislature. Here is a current breakdown of the seats:

PC: 75

NDP: 40

LIB: 7


IND: 1