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Laughing Cavalier

It looks like the perfect way to let the ruling party know which way you vote so that they can decide whether or not to discriminate against you in future.

John Peters

Absolutely, definitely not.
There are practical problems. The sum is too small for the adminsitrative costs. Defining who would and would not be eligible is impossible. Large numbers of people do not fill in their own tax forms.
It is wrong in principle. Since administrative costs are covered by government, this is state funding of Cherie Blair's hair-dresser. It is an extension of central powers and a restriction on individuals and groups.

I would propose that any donation, loan or benefit must be made public within 3 hours of agreement and then leave them to it. Any Party which doesn't notify the electoral commission within that time pays that sum back and the same amount more as a fine.

I agree with Gildas when s/he (apologies, I don't know which) says:

"Is it really so difficult to grasp the idea that political parties should only raise their money from willing individual donors? With total transparency. (I'm against donation limits, but of all the restrictions thats the one I'm willing to accept).
If the political parties are skint, that is their problem. Not mine."

Cardinal Pirelli

Over my dead body!

Sorry, but paying taxes to fund politicians is beyond the pale.

Thomas Hobbes

I know that Tim will say I am being negative again - but this is another bonkers idea that makes us look stupid. Anyone with half a brain could have spotted the problems listed above, so why put it out for discussion?

David Banks

Well , at least the tick box idea means that none of our hard earned shekels have to go towards funding people like the BNP unlike a blanket state hand out. OK , for once (!) i will change my mind. Have normally been against state funding due to not wanting my tax monies to go to Nick Griffin et al. But with tickbox concept in place would vote for this idea. I think it's a good one.
Oh and by the way regular readers/contributors , i have managed recently to drag myself off benefits ( no thanks to Blair)and find myself a full time job.

Yet Another Anon

The fact is that all forms of State Funding for political parties are a failure, there is no way from stopping people individually from campaigning or from stopping Trade Unions or Businesses from carrying out their own campaigns at election time - I suppose there could be some kind of blind system whereby parties were not informed where the donations had come from to avoid them being influenced by the donations, but then again a rich person\Trade union|business could simply decide to spend the money directly and so fall outside the rules unless of the rules.

Parties got along fine before Short Money, indeed parties that have never had any seats in parliament have never received any Short Money - it could be rather difficult tracking down all the organisations and could be a very long list, surely this also would add complexity to tax forms - wouldn't it be simpler to limit the amount of donations by any one individual unless of course it is actually going to be tax deductible, I don't suppose much would be raised by £1 per individual given many would choose not to donate anything at all so it would be left to News International probably to do most of the campaigning.

matt wright

Not keen on this,


Matt Davis

State funding of political parties? NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

However clever the actual plan itself the basic principle ought to be anathema to all those who believe in democracy and especially to Conservatives.


I am glad that it has now been proved possible to get policies voted down. Perhaps ones faith in the participants in this exercise can now gradually be rehabilitated...

David Simpson

Well that one seems to have been shot down in flames!

Not everyone seems to have read the fine details of the proposal but clearly the fundamental practical objection is the means of collection. Allocating money according to votes cast would seem to be an answer (and if there is a big stay-at-home vote as in 2005 the total allocated would correspondingly be reduced - that would make 'em sit up and take notice).

As for the "no state involvement" element, that seems to be a doctrinal issue. I take a more pragmatic stance (as in, get the state to do something useful for once).

Oh and several people rather snearingly (I thought) referred to me as a businessman - I'm just self employed!

David Simpson

. . . and finally how can it be a tax if you can choose whether or not to pay it, and who it is paid to. If anything we're taking some of our money back and sending it where we think it might do some good.

David Simpson

"I am glad that it has now been proved possible to get policies voted down. Perhaps ones faith in the participants in this exercise can now gradually be rehabilitated..."

It's just a shame that policies cannot be modified after all this useful discussion, to produce something that people could support. I have seen several policies that, had we been able to change them, I would have supported, but as they stood, were unacceptable.

The Remittance Man

The political elites of all parties are becoming more and more isolated from the general public as it is. State funding, in whatever form that may take, will simply increase this isolation.

These people are supposed to represent US and thus should be listening to US. Removing the need for any party to appeal to the public by giving them free, taxpayer funded, handouts is hardly going to achieve that.

Mr Simpson's proposal would only be supportable if it included the following option (and only with the exact wording provided):

"None of the thieving, mendacious mountebanks listed above".

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