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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clegg rules out more funding for political parties

The Guardian report that the Deputy Prime Minister has ruled out extra state funding for political parties for the whole of this parliament.

Nick Clegg believes that it is impossible to ask taxpayers to provide more money for politics at a time of austerity, though the paper believes that this pronouncement raises questions over the value of a report due to be published next week setting out plans for a reform of party political funding.

They say that one of its central proposals will be an increase in state funding by as much as £100m over the course of a 5 year parliament to fill a void that would be created by a loss of donations due to the imposition of a £10,000-a-year cap on individual and union donations:

The report is in danger of being stillborn since Labour has said it opposes planned reforms to the union party link and the Tories oppose a cap being set as low as £10,000. Clegg's rejection of state funding at this stage means all three parties are opposed to key aspects of the proposals due to be published next Tuesday.

Despite this Clegg says he would like to proceed with as much cross-party consensus as possible and claims he is determined to achieve what reform he can. Frankly, though the initiative is looking dead in the water.
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