The Lobbying Bill - Lords Amendments
The Lobbying Bill returned to the commons and the following lords amendments were agreed:
Increasing the spending limits in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from the levels originally set out in the Bill, giving an uplift of £20,000 to each nation.
. Removing all burdens from low-spending participants in a campaigning coalition by allowing larger campaigners to provide a single report on their behalf.
. Removing the requirement for a return, or a nil return, in relation to spending returns, donations reports and statement of accounts, if a recognised third party has not spent above the registration threshold.
. A review of the effects of the provisions of Part 2 of the Bill to report following the 2015 General Election, to ensure the regulatory system remains effective and proportionate.
. Reducing the length of the 2014/2015 regulated period during which campaigners have to limit their expenditure from 12 to 7 ½ months, meaning it will now start after the referendum on Scottish independence. This gives more time to produce clear guidance so that the changes in this Bill can be fully understood and prepared for.
. An exemption for the costs of translating material from and into Welsh, and for campaign costs relating to disability and security.
There were also some lords amendments that were rejected. One was a Lords Amendment which excluded the costs of staff time from third parties if the staff were not specifically employed for election campaigning. The idea is to have transparency about election campaigning. If you have a major section of the campaigning that is excluded then it isn't really transparent.