The Taxpayers’ Union is unimpressed by Labour’s suggestion we all fund them:
“Taxing New Zealanders to subsidise political parties would weaken our democracy,” says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union.
The Union is hitting back at Labour Party leader David Cunliffe’s suggestion that it’s time to consider publicly-funded elections.
“Suggesting that tax dollars from those who don’t support political parties should be used to promote them is outrageous,” says Mr Williams.
“Mr Cunliffe argues that public funding of political parties is about ‘fairness’. But democracy is about accountability. Even if it was about fairness, how is it fair to tax Kiwis to fund Mr Cunliffe’s, or anyone else’s, political efforts?”
“Politicians having to justify their work to supporters, members, and donors is healthy. Public funding would give a huge advantage to the established political parties. It professionalises politics and stamps on the grass roots.”
“The vast majority of donations made to political parties are small. That is a good thing. It means politicians and party bosses are accountable to many.”
Politicians are accountable to all of us to make the best use of our money and to take as little of it as possible to do what most needs to be done.
Needs include healthcare, education, law and order, infrastructure, welfare and the sound economic management required to ensure they are affordable.
State funding of political parties isn’t a need.
It’s a want by those parties which can’t persuade enough people to voluntarily support them.