From late 2022, the rules about candidate and agent notional spending changed, as well as the rules about making payments.
Notional spending occurs when services or goods are given to a candidate for free or at a discount.
The legal test for when candidates need to record notional spending against their own spending limit has now changed. Someone will now only count as using the item on the candidate’s behalf if the candidate or their agent ‘authorises, directs or encourages’ that use.
This change also applies to notional expenditure on behalf of parties, non-party campaigners, referendum campaigners and recall petition campaigners.
The rules for making payments for spending have also changed. Now, if the agent has given written authorisation to someone to incur spending on behalf of the candidate, then the person authorised to incur the spending is also able to make the payment for that spending.
We will publish updated election-specific guidance for candidates, parties and non-party campaigners as and when elections are held, to help them understand and support compliance with the new legal requirements.