HC Deb 25 January 2000 vol 343 cc148-9W
Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to his oral statement on 19 January 2000,Official Report, column 841, if he will list the limits which will apply to each political party in relation to their spending on a referendum on the single European currency; [106790]

(2) what is his policy on equalisation of spending limits on money raised by political parties on either side of the argument in future referenda. [106791]

The Prime Minister

We do not think it is practicable to regulate spending by political parties in such a way as to ensure that exactly equal amounts are spent by those on either side of a referendum argument. We do, however, think it is desirable to place a limit on what each party individually can spend.

Accordingly, schedule 13 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Bill provides that in any referendum held throughout the United Kingdom the expenditure limits for a registered political party should be based on the percentage of the vote secured by the party at the previous general election, namely:

£ million
Percentage of vote Permitted limit
More than 30 5
20–30 4
10–20 3
5–10 2
Less than 5 0.5