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Political Parties: Finance

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission, what research the Electoral Commission has conducted into local spending in constituencies by party organisations with incomes of below £25,000 a year. (177636)

The Electoral Commission informs me that, in 2004 and in 2007, it canvassed all registered accounting units to inquire as to whether their total income or gross expenditure was greater than £25,000 for the prior financial year. Those that were under this threshold were asked to confirm so in writing.

The purpose of the exercise was to confirm which accounting units should be submitting accounts to the commission and which should not. The commission has conducted no research into spending by those associations under the threshold.

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission, pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1235W, on political parties: finance, what research the Electoral Commission initiated on the operation of the political levy and political funds by trade unions. (177700)

The Electoral Commission informs me that it plans to undertake research on the operation of the political levy and political funds and has arranged a meeting with the United Kingdom Certification Officer.