The Big Question – FDs shun cash-for-influence

The vast majority of financial directors disapprove of influence-peddling by lobbyists.

Of the 200 FDs questioned for The Big Question survey, conducted by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, 90% said organisations should not be allowed to buy influence in government.

The respondents, quizzed in the wake of the recent lobbying scandal which KPMG was sucked into, divided into two camps: idealists and cynics.

Peter Clark, FD of London-based Conrad Advertising, was typical of the former.

?Parliament is elected by the people for the people and not to represent the interests of commercial concerns,? said Clark. ?Private money should never buy public influence.?

The main objection to cash-for-influence, explained Keith Ross, FD of South-end aerospace manufacturer Ipeco, was that ?those with the biggest pockets would win the most influence.?

Duncan Syers, FD of Leeds-based property and investment company Town Centre Securities, said lobbying should be left to industrial organisations.

But Edward Dodd, FD of Jegs Electrical in Southend, said: ?All politicians are as bad as each other and the Labour government has proved that this week.?

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