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Parties conducting business (trade).

Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:52 pm

I thought we had already had a discussion about this, but I cannot find it. What are the rules regarding what a political party can do outside of political campaigning?
Could they (for example) engage in business providing goods or services?
For the purpose of the question, we can assume that they desist in such activity during the run up to an election, else questions of election spending could get very complicated.
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:37 pm

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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:50 pm

Smouldering Stoat wrote:Here you go.

Thank you.
Decidedly confusing, but I think we agreed there were no restrictions on trading.
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby atticus » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:25 pm

I expect that a good accountant can distinguish between election expenditure and trading expenditure. This should mean that there is no need to suspend trading activity during a campaign.

I am not aware of any case where a party has got into difficulties in relation to election spending, having claimed that the money was spent on a trading expense (although I suppose it is possible). The tories' present little local difficulty is in (allegedly) claiming as national campaign expenditure money spent on a constituency.
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Tue Apr 25, 2017 7:42 pm

Agreed. Only expenditure which is directly attributable to the campaign need be declared as an expense. Not spending on other areas of the party's activities, commercial or non-commercial.
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:35 am

What about, for example, if they raise money doing bun sales, and raise their profile by giving buns away?
Is there any problem generally with giving things away?
Would it be an election expense if done during election time?
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby atticus » Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:54 am

Money raised is not money spent.

The cost of things given away in campaigning is campaign expenditure.
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:39 am

No election agent in his right mind would allow food to be given away to electors during a campaign. It would be declarable as an expense, but more pertinent would be the prospect of being prosecuted for the Corrupt Practice of Treating.
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:47 am

Smouldering Stoat wrote:No election agent in his right mind would allow food to be given away to electors during a campaign. It would be declarable as an expense, but more pertinent would be the prospect of being prosecuted for the Corrupt Practice of Treating.

Any problems with doing it outside of the election campaign?

And at what point is an election campaign considered to have begun?
Obviously the current one has begun, but what if they had begun last month, in anticipation of it being likely?
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Re: Parties conducting business (trade).

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:05 am

There is a statutory timetable laid down in PPERA. The Electoral Commission publishes extensive guidance on their website.
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