How would you feel about the tax you pay funding a political party?
An email from the Taxpayers’ Union explains:
The Government are gearing up to use Winston Peters’s and Jami-Lee Ross’s donation scandals to justify replacing electoral donations with taxpayer funded political parties.
Here’s a different idea for cleaning up political donations, which is similar and more cost-effective than taxpayer funding: obey the law.
It’s that simple.
The law is clear. If there is a problem it is politicians and parties not obeying it, and possibly the powers the Electoral Commission has to ensure they do.
Taxpayer funding wouldn’t solve that.
Politicians should let the Serious Fraud Office do its job, instead of exploiting the situation to get their hands on more of your money.
Just this morning, the Greens were on Radio New Zealand calling for reform. Labour’s friendly activists have been in the media calling for the same. And it’s no pipe dream: the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has previously said she’s keen on the idea.
Oh yes. These parties never let an opportunity to try to get taxpayer funding for themselves go by.
James Shaw says “We have a donor-driven democracy, and we’ve got to get rid of that.” That’s code for the Greens taking your money.
Democracy is supposed to be of the people, for the people, by the people; not of the politicians, for the parties, with the people’s money.
It’s not donors funding parties that’s the problem, it’s too many parties with too few members and supporters. That would only get worse if parties could rely on taxes rather than members and supporters for funds.
We pay taxes for public services, not propaganda.
In a democracy we have to accept governments that gain power legitimately spending taxes on policies we don’t support. We should not have to support our taxes going to support parties, whether or not we support them and what they stand for.
Taxpayer funding for political parties cements the status quo and makes it even harder for new political parties, or groups outside of Parliament, to hold politicians to account.
State funding would also negate the need for parties to build broad membership bases. This is particularly important under MMP because nearly half our MPs are elected through party lists, rather than directly by voters. Taxpayer funding would let parties ignore their members’ views when selecting candidates.
Taxpayer funding would also make it even easier for parties with very few members to thrive.
Like MPs’ pay increases, taxpayer funding of parties could come from nowhere, and be passed through Parliament very quickly. That’s why we need your financial support now to ensure there is a strong voice ready to campaign against these proposals.
The Greens and Labour could try to campaign on taxpayer funding.
That would almost certainly ensure they wouldn’t be returned to government with the power to make that happen.
You can donate to the Taxpayers’ Union to help them campaign against this and other abuses of public funds by going here.