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Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000

Section 118 and Schedule 14 : Special restrictions on referendum expenses by permitted participants

215.Subsection (1) introduces Schedule 14 which imposes limits on referendum expenses incurred by permitted participants. The limits for participants in a UK-wide referendum are set out in paragraph 1(2) of Schedule 14.

216.The limits are as follows:

a)

for a designated umbrella organisation - £5 million

b)

for a registered political party a sum based on the percentage of the vote secured by the party at the previous parliamentary general election, namely:

Percentage of UK vote

Permitted limit

£m

More than 30%5
20 – 30%4
10 – 20%3
5 – 10%2
Less than 5%0.5
c)

other permitted participants - £0.5 million.

217.If a referendum were held under the provisions of Part VII during the course of the Parliament elected in 1997, the permitted limit for the main political parties would be as follows: Labour (43.2% of the vote) £5 million; Conservative (30.7%) £5 million; Liberal Democrat (16.8%) £3 million. All other political parties secured less than 5% of the UK-wide vote and would consequently have a limit of £500,000.

218.Paragraph 2 of Schedule 14 provides for the expenses limits in a referendum which is not a UK-wide referendum to be determined by order. Subsection (2) of section 118 makes it an offence for a permitted participant to incur referendum expenses in excess of the permitted limit.

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