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Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: This is a slightly wider argument. I think that it would be hard to prove that all the money on one side necessarily buys the result of a referendum. The noble Lord, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, referred to the Danish referendum where all the cash was on one side, all the powerful players were on one side--and they lost. I know what the Minister will say, that one could say the same about my opposition to his Bill.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The noble Lord is right. That is the point. Through the Bill, we seek to establish a position of transparency. I thought that the argument put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, was helpful to us. It made the point that the people will not be defeated when they clearly see things in a certain way, regardless of the amount of money stacked up on one side of the argument by one group of supporters.

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I do not want to go on too long on this point. However, there is a

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difference between one individual stacking the odds and the political parties being allowed legitimately to stack the odds. I believe that the public would make a judgment about whether they thought that that individual should or should not stack the odds on one side. However, when it comes to political parties, which are legitimate organisations, the imbalance laid out in the Bill is much more difficult for the public to see through. They may well accept that imbalance. Clearly, the noble Lord will not be persuaded. He wants inequality. It is a new concept of a level playing field: we must start off with the playing field being uneven in case, during the match, it turns out to be uneven. That is a ludicrous argument. We would be far better standing where we are. The Minister does not seem to like the choices. The choice I would come down on is not to have any limits. However, that is probably for another day.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch: Before my noble friend sits down, I wonder whether the Minister could answer a point which my noble friend put to him and which I also attempted to put to him on behalf of the United Kingdom Independence Party. Does he agree that at the last general election no fewer than 177 commitments were given by the Labour Party? Therefore, people who voted for the Labour Party at the last election were voting en masse for 177 commitments. At the European elections, there was only one issue; that is, sending people to the European Parliament.

Does the Minister not agree that the test of opinion which should apply is the vote at the European elections, far more than the vote at the last general election. He has not addressed that point. It will need to be addressed before we finally decide this matter.

Clause 106, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 12 [Referendum expenses: qualifying expenses]:

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 234P to 234YC:


    Page 149, line 16, leave out ("120(1)") and insert ("120").


    Page 149, line 24, leave out sub-paragraphs (7) to (10).


    Page 149, line 35, leave out sub-paragraph (11) and insert--


("(11) Transport (by any means) of persons to any place or places with a view to obtaining publicity in connection with a referendum campaign.
Expenses in respect of the transport of such persons include the costs of hiring a particular means of transport for the whole or part of the period during which the campaign is being conducted.").


    Page 149, line 42, leave out ("attract national publicity") and insert ("obtain publicity in connection with a referendum campaign").


    Page 149, line 45, leave out ("prominent").


    Page 149, line 45, after ("events") insert (", the hire of premises for the purposes of such events").


    Page 149, line 47, leave out sub-paragraphs (13) and (14).


    Page 150, line 8, leave out ("permanent staff") and insert ("staff (whether permanent or otherwise)").


    Page 150, line 9, leave out ("reasonable").

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    Page 150, line 11, at end insert ("to the extent that the expenses are paid by the individual from his own resources and are not reimbursed to him").


    Page 150, line 12, leave out from beginning to end of line 12 on page 151.


    Page 151, leave out lines 18 to 23 and insert ("as to the kinds of expenses which do, or do not, fall within Part I of this Schedule").


    Page 152, line 11, leave out ("or II").

The noble Lord said: These amendments were all previously spoken to with Amendment No. 191. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 12, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 107 [Notional referendum expenses]:

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 234YD to 234YG:


    Page 67, line 41, leave out subsections (1) and (2) and insert--


("(1) This section applies where, in the case of any individual or body--
(a) either--
(i) property is transferred to the individual or body free of charge or at a discount of more than 10 per cent. of its market value, or
(ii) property, services or facilities is or are provided for the use or benefit of the individual or body free of charge or at a discount of more than 10 per cent. of the commercial rate for the use of the property or for the provision of the services or facilities, and
(b) the property, services or facilities is or are made use of by or on behalf of the individual or body in circumstances such that, if any expenses were to be (or are) actually incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body in respect of that use, they would be (or are) referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body.
(1A) Where this section applies, an amount of referendum expenses determined in accordance with this section ("the appropriate amount") shall be treated, for the purposes of this Part, as incurred by the individual or body during the period for which the property, services or facilities is or are made use of as mentioned in subsection (1)(b).
This subsection has effect subject to subsection (6).
(1B) Where subsection (1)(a)(i) applies, the appropriate amount is such proportion of either--
(a) the market value of the property (where the property is transferred free of charge), or
(b) the difference between the market value of the property and the amount of expenses actually incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body in respect of the property (where the property is transferred at a discount),
as is reasonably attributable to the use made of the property as mentioned in subsection (1)(b).
(1C) Where subsection (1)(a)(ii) applies, the appropriate amount is such proportion of either--
(a) the commercial rate for the use of the property or the provision of the services or facilities (where the property, services or facilities is or are provided free of charge), or
(b) the difference between that commercial rate and the amount of expenses actually incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body in respect of the use of the property or the provision of the services or facilities (where the property, services or facilities is or are provided at a discount),
as is reasonably attributable to the use made of the property, services or facilities as mentioned in subsection (1)(b).").


    Page 68, line 26, leave out ("and") and insert ("or").

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    Page 68, line 33, leave out subsection (4) and insert--


("(4) Where an amount of referendum expenses is treated, by virtue of subsection (1A), as incurred by or on behalf of an individual or body during any period the whole or part of which falls within the period which is, in relation to the referendum to which the expenses relate, the referendum period then--
(a) the amount mentioned in subsection (4A) shall be treated as incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body during the referendum period, and
(b) if a return falls to be prepared under section 115 in respect of referendum expenses incurred by or on behalf of the individual or body during that period, the responsible person shall make a declaration of that amount,
unless that amount is less than £200.
(4A) The amount mentioned in subsection (4) is such proportion of the appropriate amount (determined in accordance with subsection (1B) or (1C)) as reasonably represents the use made of the property, services or facilities as mentioned in subsection (1)(b) during the referendum period.").


    Page 69, line 2, at end insert--


("( ) Paragraph 2(3) and (4)(a) of Schedule 14 shall apply with any necessary modifications for the purpose of determining, for the purposes of subsection (1), whether property is transferred to an individual or body.").

The noble Lord said: Amendments Nos. 234YD to 234YG have all previously been spoken to with Amendment No. 195. I beg to move.

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 107, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 108 [Restriction on incurring referendum expenses]:

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 234YH:


    Page 69, line 10, at end insert--


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