Under the current regulations every person standing in one is entitled to claim back a certain amount. Varies mainly on the size of area being stood for, so much for each name on the register,* along with a set amount. In the average council election you'd be looking at around £1100 per candidate name. Upon production of the receipts and the purpose for those receipts, often vaugley worded with something like "Election Promotional Material" on the return. This includes those where only a name has been put forward, but you never see anything from that party/person. Election Return may still say something like "Election Promotional Material" along with a figure for money spent. But if nothing was ever sent out, where was the money spent? It's fairly easy, if you want to get a new computer, to do so under these rules. Along with many smaller items. Just have no-one question your return. Would it not be fairer, and a better use of the public pocket, if only the winning candidate was allowed to claim back their expenses. You'd not have parties putting "candidates" forward who have no intention of doing anything during the election. Not even turning up at the count. Think back to the last local election near you, how many names were put forward for your area. How many did you actually see anything from? With four or five standing in nearly every ward, it soon adds up. *And you thought it might just be for other reasons, like your vote on the day.