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Political Parties: Finance

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 9 December 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the answer of 10 November 2008, Official Report, columns 936-37W, on political parties: finance, (1) if he will place a copy of the booklet in the Library; (242040)

(2) whether it is the policy of HM Revenue and Customs that payments made to the Parliamentary Labour Party by hon. Members are tax-deductible.

I have arranged for a copy of the booklet, a copy of which is sent to MPs at the start of each Parliament, to be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Tax law imposes strict tests on what relief is available for personal expenditure. In general, relief is only available for costs incurred by employees or office holders that are incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of the employment or office. No relief is available for MPs’ personal donations to political parties which do not satisfy this rule. HMRC’s policy in interpreting this is set out in the booklet where it makes clear that tax relief is not due for payments to political organisations for party political purposes.