Miliband backs £5k donation cap

15th April, 2012 10:39 am

This morning on Andrew Marr, Ed Miliband announced that he favours a cap of £5,000 on all donations to political parties – including donations from trade unions – in a bid to take the “big money” out of British politics.

However such a cap would not apply to the levy that affiliated unions pay to Labour, as that is the combined individual donations of millions of union members. Miliband defended the union link, saying that millions of union affiliates “keep us rooted” in the communities we seek to represent.


  • Charles

    Well played by Miliband.

    • treborc1

      But the game is player every year, must be  Spring fever, it goes nowhere.

      The Tories will demand the levy be paid by members directly to Labour not the Union, the Labour party will demand that large donors be limited, two  weeks or so down the line they both say no more we hear no more until next year.

      We all know the argument and we all know the silly game.

  • Jeff_Harvey

    David Cameron is probably ordering a dining table capable of seating the Prime Minister and his wife plus FIFTY guests, for 10 Downing Street, even as I type these words! 

    • Dave Postles

      We need a single multiple-likes button for this comment. 

  • Bill

    I think this is something the public can definitely get behind peovided thay it coincides with the end of covert money being recycled directly to the unions through pilgrim jobs and other releated initiatives. Ina similar way to the parties unions should be funded through the voluntary contributions of their members and not hidden lump sum payments from the taxpayer.

    If the union members then make the individual decisions not to fund the labour party then that will be their democratic right.

  • Edward Anderson

    Well, I would like to see the clear detail of this. However, as is already mentioned the Conservatives will claim that this still allows the Unions to bankroll Labour and they are screwed by it.
     Indeed, Guido Fawkes has already stated that by our own figures it would only limit our funds by 1%, this simply will not work. What is good that the issue is being discussed.
      As a Union member (Unite) and a Labour member we should come out and say that the cap will be lower ( £1,000 or something but lower than £5,000( and Union members will have to OPT IN rather than opt out. That is what I believe.

    • aracataca

      You’re right Edward. We have to offer them an opt in rather than an opt out option in the imminent negotiations.
      Can’t see the Tories wearing this though as they depend on multi-millionaire tax avoiders making colossal donations for their money.

      • Edward Anderson

        It is not really about the Conservatives though and nor should it be about posturing. We want big money out. We don’t want a few people whether they be rich Ashcroft or Bernie Ecclestone running the show. Nor do I want Union Leaders using my money to push their specific agenda which can often be against what ordinary union members want.
          I think it is perfectly fair for no individual donation to a party be over a £1,000 and no donation to an individual be over a 1,000. I would love to see MP’s have to ask people to give a fiver to their campaign and it really would make people feel as if they have ownership over their democracy.
          Parties would have to engage with people at large and they could no longer economically afford to only focus on swing seats because they wouldn’t have enough money unless they campaigned across the nation.
           So, bring the limit even lower, 1,000 pounds and make everyone have to opt in to the Union levy. Politicians in Labour might be shocked by this but we would be far more likely to vote and vote Labour if they did this as it shows that they really want to make a change, rather than a stitch up.

        • dave stone

          “We don’t want a few people whether they be rich Ashcroft or Bernie Ecclestone running the show.”

          If Ed’s proposal succeeds the culture shock won’t only be limited to the Conservatives.

          What will Jaqui Smith and her chums from Progress do with all the scallops and celeriac purée she planned to hawk around the dining rooms of the City of London?

          • aracataca

            She’ll just have to stop doing it. The fact is Dave that this will be killed stone dead in the water by the Tories who depend on fabulously rich tax avoiders for the bulk of their money. We depend mainly on organisations like Unite and we will have to reform if and how they give us money. 

          • dave stone

            We’ll have to wait for the Tories response. It’s not for us to anticipate the Tories dislike of Ed’s proposal and kill it “stone dead in the water” on their behalf.

            I’d be well happy to bung in more myself and strain every muscle, nerve and sinew to raise more, providing it doesn’t get spent on scallops and celeriac purée to be lavished upon City of London grabbers by Jaqui Smith and her merry band of idiots.

          • Edward Anderson

            Have to  engage with people at large and not be able to use rich backers. Edward Miliband’s proposal still allows mass money from unions and until people opt in instead of opt out these proposals will not get any traction.

    • Rangerwave

      Well unless you’re paying into a different union fund, you already have to opt in. I’m a member of Unison, and when you join you are required, as with any other affiliated union, to decide whether or not you wish to pay into the General Fund (non-party political union activities), or the Political Fund (which pays into the Labour Party). 

      • Dave Postles

         Quite.  Opt-in, opt-out, shake it all about.  New members are fully informed and asked whether they wish to pay the political levy.  The political levy will not necessarily be contributed to Labour – as the constitution of some unions allows that it be directed to any political party or none.  Has there ever been a question on a shareholders’ prospectus asking every shareholder whether s/he wishes to have some of their dividend diverted to the Conservative Party or not?

  • Rangerwave

    Anyone who seeks to equate the clean, open and transparent money that is paid by union members in the most tightly regulated donations sector in the democratic world with the back handed, cash in hand deals made by big business and faceless plutocrats to the Tory Party needs to have a serious talking to. 

    Miliband is absolutely right to defend the union link. 


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