The Guardian report here that the Tories and Liberals are seeking a £50,000 donation “cap” on Party funding.
Within that article, The Guardian suggest, that since 2006 Labour would have lost 85% of its funding with such a cap in place, with the Tories losing 50% of their donations. This proposal is being suggested by the “Committee on Standards in Public Life”, on which all of the main political parties are represented. The proposals from this independent Committee are being floated to remove the presence of “Big Money” in British Politics. It is not such an act. It is a cynical and self-serving proposal to damage the long-term interests and standing of the Labour Party.
The Labour Party has historically been funded, to one degree or another, by the Unions. Since Ed Miliband became Labour leader, the Party has become more reliant on these donations. Whether that is a positive or negative thing is a separate issue. Union funding is important for the Labour Party. In contrast, the Conservative and Liberal Democrats are both funded by wealthy individuals and companies, which is also true of Labour to a lesser extent. However, the Coalition parties are able to rely upon a wider base of funding, from numerous wealthy individuals who would be able to donate the maximum £50,000 each.
The Unite union donated £11.7 million to the Labour Party between 2007 and 2010. Unite has millions of members, all of which are ordinary working people, who voluntarily donate a small contribution to the Labour Party. By imposing a £50,000 cap, Labour would have lost millions of pounds of funding from “normal” people, and would cut off the Party’s substantial funding streams.
In the first quarter of 2010, of £12.36m received by the Tories. Some of the donations are below:
£951,000 from David Rowland, an international property developer.
Christopher Rokos, a hedge fund trader, donated £250,000
Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, donated £250,000
Lord Ashcroft gave £123,464 in “non-cash” donations to CCHQ
The Tories and Liberal Democrats would lose substantially less if such a cap were in force. By including Unions, and considering them to be corporate entities, the Government is comparing the likes of Unite and Unison to Michael Ashcroft.
How should funding of political parties be resolved? I believe that the proposals of the Hayden Commission should be implemented:-
“He recommended capping spending for political campaigns as well as capping individual donations. He also suggested increasing state funding by £25m a year, linked to public support – he proposed that eligible parties receive 50p each year for every vote cast for them in the most recent General Election and 25p for every vote in the most recent ballots for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and European Parliament. He also recommended cutting spending by the largest parties between elections by £20m each”
More gerrymandering from a ConDem Government.
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