The essence of formula funding is that it seeks systematically to resolve competing claims for limited resources. It may appear that, by delegating the rules for setting budgets to the technical domain, formula funding circumvents the political problem. However, Glennerster et al. (2000) suggest a three-layered motivation for the development of funding formulae: a long-term principled or moral predisposition towards fairness; a medium-term concern with political expediency, for example seeking to minimize political conflict; and a short-term preoccupation with feasibility and practical concerns. They conclude that ‘devising, implementing, and justifying formulae is an intensely political process’ (Glennerster et al., 2000: 50).