Across the country, everyone is facing up to the consequences of the economic downturn. Taxes are higher, public services and benefits are being cut. People are struggling. Yet if the political parties have their way, for them it will be business as usual.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life recently published their report to “end the big donor culture”. After a decade of funding scandals, ranging from the Bernie Ecclestone affair and “loans for Lordships” outrage five years ago through to millions donated to the Liberal Democrats by fraudster Michael Brown and the recent Liam Fox/Adam Werrity controversy, the Committee has recommended introducing a cap on all individual and corporate donations to political parties set at £10,000 per year.
Even before the report was published, all three party leaders moved to dampen down expectations of reform by rejecting the suggestion to increase state funding of parties. Given the state of the economy, they have a point. But we can’t let the parties use this as a excuse not to act on the report’s central demand and wean themselves off rich donors and special interests.
Please write to David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg today and demand that political parties live within their means and introduce a cap on political donations: