CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEMOCRACY – PARTY FUNDING – 27 July 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: Is not the Government's response to recommendation 89 of the Neill committee grotesquely inadequate? That recommendation established the following principle in these words:

"The government of the day in future referendums should, as a government, remain neutral and should not distribute at public expense literature, even purportedly `factual' literature, setting out or otherwise promoting its case."

There is no mention there of the 28-day limits that the Government are putting in, in their so-called acceptance of that recommendation. Is it not blindingly obvious that the Government intend to raid the public purse on a massive scale in the months leading up to a referendum, stopping only a meagre four weeks before polling day?