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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 12 : Policy development grants

55.Section 12 provides for the Commission to develop and, once it is approved by the Secretary of State, administer a scheme for the payment of policy development grants to registered political parties. It will be for the Commission to propose, and the Secretary of State to approve, the formula or criteria by which such grants are allocated to eligible political parties. Subsection (1) restricts the making of such grants to parties which are represented by at least two sitting Members of the House of Commons (in the current Parliament there are eight such parties: Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Ulster Unionists, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Social Democratic and Labour Party and Democratic Unionist Party). The purpose of such grants will be restricted to the development of policies which are to form part of individual parties’ political platforms; it is not intended that they be used for the development of parties’ internal policies or in respect of their organisation and administration or of campaigning. Subsection (8) limits the total amount of disbursements under such a scheme to £2 million in any financial year.

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