Chris Green MP: ​How should we fund our politics?

How should we fund our politics? In a free society, politics comes with a cost but the question is who should pay?
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Many want the taxpayer to fund the political parties as they do, to a certain extent, in many European countries.

Whilst some taxpayer money is given to support the political parties represented in Parliament it is a relatively small amount.

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There are many problems with having taxpayers fund politics. On one side of the political fence, many would find it offensive that their money is being used to finance socialism.

Bolton West MP Chris Green Bolton West MP Chris Green
Bolton West MP Chris Green

On the other side, there would be a logical inconsistency of right-wing political parties – those that want low taxes and small government – using taxes to fund themselves.

In a healthy society, it is up to individuals, businesses, trades unions and other organisations to spend their money how they please.

It is welcome that people do generously donate but it does lend itself to accusations of what people are buying with their cash.

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Whilst not perfect, by and large, people support political parties because they are already in alignment rather than to buy a particular policy agenda.

Obviously, there will always be accusations to the contrary but that is often the nature of political discourse.

Sometimes though it does look as though the overlap between the donor, the Party and the policy interest is too strong.

In recent years, vast amounts of your money, whether through fuel bills, taxes or in the general cost of living, have been channelled into subsidising supposed environmentally friendly energy production.

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Wind turbines and solar panels require huge subsidies and financial guarantees to make them profitable.

Those subsidies are paid by you to the ‘ethical green’ corporations and the owners often become excessively rich.

To re-iterate the point, people are becoming rich not because you want to buy the product they provide but because the law of the land and subsidy structures channel your cash into their pockets.

I am instinctively against government subsidies because I believe that they skew the market and are all too often easy for people to exploit.

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They make their fortune out of a subsidised product whilst claiming virtue for doing so.

You will have seen a well funded extremist pressure group spraying orange paint all over sporting events and blocking busy roads near hospitals.

I had not realised just how they were funded or that their activities were so closely connected to mainstream politics.

The owner of Ecotricity, Dale Vince, has given £1.5 million to the Labour Party.

They make their money out of a heavily subsidised and politicised part of the energy sector.

If they win, Keir Starmer and the Labour Party are committed to closing down North Sea gas and oil production whilst channelling yet more of your cash to their funders’ companies but only because of shared values, mind you.