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Northern Ireland (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014

Section 2: Loans

14.Section 2 makes provision for loans, equivalent to that set out in section 1 for donations.

15.Subsection (1) makes the temporary provisions set out in Schedule 1 to the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (Regulation of Loans etc: Northern Ireland) Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/1319) permanent.

16.There is no express statement of the Secretary of State’s power to increase transparency in respect of the loans regime. This is because, under section 63 of Electoral Administration Act 2006, the Secretary of State can make provision in respect of loans corresponding or similar to any provision relating to donations for political purposes which is made by or which may be made under NIMPA. Accordingly, once the new section 15A and 15B of NIMPA in section 1(2) are in force in respect of donations, the Secretary of State will have the power to make corresponding or similar provision in respect of loans.

17.Subsection (2) creates an exception to the provisions preventing disclosure of information reported to the Electoral Commission. Any information contained in reports submitted to the Electoral Commission, including information that would reveal the identity of a person who made a loan before 1 January 2014, can be published if the Electoral Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that the parties to the transaction have consented to the information being disclosed.

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