Hain calls for taxpayers to fund parties
The government is considering using tax revenues to prop up Labour and Tory party funds hit by a fall in corporate giving.
Commons Leader Peter Hain signalled the intention in the Commons, insisting there is now ‘a strong case’ for extending funding arrangements that already provide substantial support for non-government parties’ work in Westminster.
He said the collapse in financial support for the Tories has meant that they received just £4m in taxpayer support since losing power in 1997.
He said he wanted to ensure parties are supported ‘and can better connect with the public’ but did not want state funding for campaigning.
Hain ignored the government’s chief concern – the dependence of Labour on support from large donors – which had suffered a dramatic decline.
Labour receives no state help with parliamentary expenses which are available for the Tories, Liberal Democrats and minority parties.