Power to control combined impact of sections 10 to 16
17.—(1) The provisions of sections 10 to 16 come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by order appoint.
(2) The aggregate amount which is obtained under sections 10 and 11 by all represented registered party taken together must not exceed such amount as the Secretary of State may by order prescribe.
(3) The Secretary of State may by order—
(a) reduce any sum specified in section 10(1) or 11(3) where the Secretary of State considers that the reduction is necessary to ensure that the amount prescribed under subsection (2) is not exceeded; and
(b) vary that sum where the Secretary of State considers that the variation is expedient in consequence of changes in the value of money.
(4) Subject to subsection (5), no order is to be made under this section unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.
(5) Any order made under subsection (3)(b) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
Subsection (2) of Clause 17 provides for a cap on overall public spending on political parties. To this end, subsection (1) provides for commencement of Clauses 10 to 16 [which provide for expenditure] at a time of the Secretary of State’s choosing, on approval of both Houses of Parliament. And Clause 17(3)(a) also permits alteration by regulation of the sums in Clause 10 [the pence per vote scheme] and in Clause 11(3) [the registered supporter scheme], to ensure that public spending on political parties remains below the overall cap imposed by the Bill. Clause 17(3)(b) provides for changes to those sums where this is necessary to keep up with inflation.