Clause 52 - Time for delivery of unaudited accounts to Electoral Commission

Electoral Administration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 2:30 pm ar 17 Tachwedd 2005.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Henry Bellingham Henry Bellingham Opposition Whip (Commons)

May I ask the Minister to explain the logic behind the substitution in the clause? Why is the time to be four months, rather than three?

Photo of David Cairns David Cairns Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Scotland Office

My hon. and learned Friend prompts me to say that it is a month longer, which is the literal response to the question.

Clause 52 extends the time for political parties that are not required to have their accounts audited to submit them to the Electoral Commission. Parties with accounts of less than £250,000, of which there are 287, compared to 15 with income and expenditure above that amount, are not required to have their accounts audited, but they are required to submit their accounts to the Electoral Commission within three months of the end of the financial year. As the hon. Gentleman   noted, the clause increases that time period to four months, which we believe is more proportionate, given that the parties have fewer resources. It is an attempt to ease the regulatory burdens on smaller parties. There is no more to it than that.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 52 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 53 to 55 ordered to stand part of the Bill.