Who wins – who loses from the party funding report?

Who wins – who loses from the party funding report?

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    But will the main parties come to a deal?

Sir Hayden Phillips’ report on party funding is at last out and leaves a lot of questions to be resolved. The big issue is whether the parties themselves can agree to spending limits on specifix campaigns and caps on individual donations.

The challenge is that each of the parites comes at this from a different stand-point. The Tories have now wiped off their debts and by all reports are fundraising very effectively under their new leader. The last thing they want is to be constrained by excessive spending limits.

Labour, meanwhile, has the issue with the unions to be resolved because at the moment they provide the lion’s share of its revenue. How will the proposed caps on single donations affect that?

    Perhaps the most controversial proposal is that the state should provide support – either linked to how many votes the party got at the last election or in the form of matched amount for individual donations.

My guess is the hope that the parties can agree on the outstanding points by July is wildly optimistic and this one will run and run.

Mike Smithson

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