Tories get most of their money from bankers

The Daily Telegraph reports that the Conservative Party gets most of its money from bankers:

The Conservative Party has become reliant on the financial sector for more than half its annual income, new research shows.

Bankers, hedge fund managers and private equity moguls were found to have contributed over a quarter of all the Tories’ private donations – which this year worked out at £1million a month. Since Mr Cameron assumed the leadership, the Conservative Party has become increasingly dependent on City funding: with donations up 0.6 per cent to just over 51 per cent.

This is why we need party finance reform. If a party is reliant on big donations, it will obviously tend to skew policy to favour big donors. I propose that:

  • donations from any source other than private individuals be banned
  • no-one allowed to donate more than, say, £1000 a year to a political party 
  • parties be financed by the state on a modest scale, for example 10p per years per vote they got in the last UK, EU, and Scottish elections.

I also suggest another measure that would both enable parties to fight elections with less money, while at the same time saving the state money:

At the moment, parties get their literature delivered by the post office for free. They still have to pay the cost of printing it, but not delivering it. Instead, the election authorities should deliver a booklet to each household for each election. This booklet would explain what the election is for, and who is standing. Each party would be allowed a free one-page advert in the booklet. The state would save money because it would only have to deliver one item per household, instead of many at present. Parties would save money because they would save on printing costs. The state would have an extra cost; that of printing the booklet, but since printing them is cheaper than distributing multiple leaflets, it would gain overall.

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