CHEAP gun licences will come to an end, under Labour plans – raising up to £1m a year for the region’s cash-starved police forces.

The Opposition vowed to make applicants for firearms pay the full processing costs, after growing protests that they are being subsidised by taxpayers.

Figures released earlier this year suggested North Yorkshire (£369,730), Northumbria (£204,280) and Durham (£123,470) were all left out of pocket last year.

No figure was released for the Cleveland force, but – if it runs up a similar bill processing gun licences – the total annual cost in the region will be approaching £1m.

Now the cost of a licence is set to quadruple if Labour wins power, from just £50 – a figure unchanged since 2001 – to about £200, the average bill for forces.

Yvette Cooper, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: “When money is tight, we need to get the best out of every pound, challenge waste and find new savings.

“The police are already struggling to cope with growing crimes such as violent crime, child sex exploitation, online child abuse and online fraud, and prosecutions are falling as they can’t get cases to trial.”

In the summer, Downing Street blocked a proposed rise in the cost from £50 to £88, designed to be the first step towards “full cost recovery”.

Ms Cooper said the move would raise £17.2m a year, a slice of nearly £250m of annual savings in the Home Office it had identified which also included:

* At least £172m by requiring forces to make joint purchases of equipment – after huge variations in costs were revealed.

* £50m from previously announced plans to scrap elected Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) - saving 1,100 officers set to be axed, according to plans for 2015-16.