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22.11.11

Proposals for political party funding reform

New proposals on political party funding are to be published today, urging the main parties to recognise that they all supported reform in their 2010 general election manifestos.

The Coalition Agreement between the Conservatives and Lib Democrats also pledged to “pursue a detailed agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding in order to remove big money from politics”.

However, all three parties are funded in different ways and have so far been unable and unwilling to pursue a compromise.

The proposed changes include capping individual donations at £10,000 – a move the Conservatives strongly oppose – and changes to union donations. Unions could be required to opt in to donating rather than opting out, and as this makes up the majority of Labour’s funding, it is a move they reject.

The Liberal Democrats have stated that they do not want the taxpayer to have to pay more to fund political parties.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life will recommend that the state provides £3 funding for each vote cast for a party with MPs, which would cost the state about £100m over five years.

The Cabinet Office has set a deadline of December 2014 for legislation.

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