Surprise – Cunliffe wants Labour to be funded by taxpayers

May 12th, 2014 at 12:40 pm by David Farrar

I’ve said for days that this donation stuff is all about Labour and Greens trying to change the law so taxpayers are forced to fund their political parties (so they no longer will be reliant on members and supporters). This got confirmed today:

believes it’s time to consider publicly-funded elections. …

The Labour leader says it’s time to have a conversation.

“There’s a trade off to be made between investing more taxpayers funding in the political process to guarantee fairness and democracy on the one hand and making sure that every dollar is well and prudently spent.”

I’m 100% opposed. For a start political parties does not reduce private donations – look at Australia where they have state funding – and you have unions donate tens of millions of dollars to Labour.

It is healthy for political parties to need members and supporters to raise funds. It’s a good thing that if a party loses say 75% of its members, it loses a lot of its funding.

Most of all it is wrong to force taxpayers to fund political parties whose policies and candidates they may detest.

But you have been warned. If the opposition get into power, beyond doubt they’ll try to legislate for taxpayer funding of political parties.

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49 Responses to “Surprise – Cunliffe wants Labour to be funded by taxpayers”

  1. Barnsley Bill (983 comments) says:

    I am sick of hearing this.
    The lootocracy already are funded below the line.
    They get tens of millions to spend touring the country spreading their rubbish.
    List MP’s like the twerp Hughes is the Koru Club kid and the ponce lives walking distance from the beehive.
    We should be gutting existing funding
    I am still go smacked the labour leadership battle needed private funding?
    WTF for?
    We paid for all travel and accommodation anyway.
    Thieves, all of them

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  2. wreck1080 (3,905 comments) says:

    then i could setup a party and get paid taxpayer money?

    woohoo.

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  3. thePeoplesFlag (245 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  4. Manolo (13,746 comments) says:

    Silent T, the ultimate Chardonnay socialist, drops the veneer of honesty and wants to get his sticky fingers in our pockets.

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  5. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    wreck1080 – suggestions for funding formulas that I’ve seen are based on things like votes last election and number of party members.

    This all favours established large parties over new alternatives, and as BB says current MPs already have a huge advantage over aspiring candidates who have to fund everything themselves.

    It would rule out Colin Craig or Kim Dotcom parties.

    It would mean the established parties wouldn’t have to network and earn funding.

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  6. Cunningham (844 comments) says:

    I still think this will go down with your average Joe Public like a cold bucket of sick even after the pathetic mud slinging. Proposing this is a fuckup by the opposition.

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  7. alloytoo (541 comments) says:

    I think this is a great idea, however, instead of dragging this out of general funding, we should make it an option on our tax returns to donate X number of dollars to a nominated party. (or receive a refund.)

    Parties could however opt out of this funding model if they so desired.

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  8. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    If a party has really stupid loopy ideas then why should **hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who don’t support it** be compelled to contribute funds to it? What a STUPID idea from Cunliffe.

    Let the “market of ideas” rule. It is GOOD for parties to *have* to put their policies “out there” to face the rigours of the market-place. People can then *judge them on their merits” and THEN decide whether to support the party (financially or otherwise).

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  9. tvb (4,416 comments) says:

    We already have considerable state funding of political parties not least the broadcasting allocation that comes every election and is paid by state funding. And the use of Parliamentary resources. I have no problem with state funding of election campaigns which are state funded partially anyway. And to prohibit donations to be restricted to natural persons not more than $15,000 and only for a qualified elector.

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  10. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Whaaaat?

    Because our political left are short of cash for their 2014 campaigns, they propose to embark on another raid into the pockets of the long suffering taxpayer.

    They can first try rearranging this: “OFF PISS !”

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  11. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Labour is public funded already – The gummit makes special payments to people so they join the union then union money is donated to Labour. It’s a long loop of trickery – but it’s public funding by stealth.

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  12. Pete George (23,559 comments) says:

    Cunliffe wouldn’t need to do wine auction fundraisers:

    Wine exploring with David Cunliffe & Friends

    David Cunliffe MP, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party, will welcome you to this beautiful Titirangi home for the annual Wine Auction.
    Afternoon tea and refreshments will be served.

    The Auction Catalogue will be emailed on the 17th of May.

    Authorised By David Cunliffe, 3071 Great North Road, New Lynn

    https://www.eventbrite.co.nz/e/wine-exploring-with-david-cunliffe-friends-tickets-11473462435?aff=efbevent

    Or dinner party fundraisers:

    Red, white and you – a special fundraiser for the 2014 election campaign

    Join us for a night of fine southern hospitality and cheer.
    Special guest – David Cunliffe, Leader of the Labour Party
    Entree and mains provided by Lauren Matilda Matthews from the Kitchen Collective.
    Dessert by the award winning Kohu Road.
    Friday May 30th 7pm at the historic Tannery at 44b Portage Road, New Lynn.

    The price included dinner and wine/beer/non-alcoholic beverages.

    Contributions from this night will go to directly supporting Labours’ 2014 Election Campaign

    Authorised by Tim Barnett, 160 Willis Street, Wellington

    http://www.eventbrite.com/e/red-white-and-you-a-special-fundraiser-for-the-2014-election-campaign-tickets-11264611757?aff=es2&rank=1

    I guess they could award themselves funds in the House and then have a private wine and dinner party in Belamy’s.

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  13. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    The left-wing are ALREADY supported very generously by the UNIONS.

    Why should the long-suffering *taxpayers* be forced to fork out to policies that many of them **despise**?

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  14. anticorruptionnz (215 comments) says:

    Do away with parties and only let independents stand and make them represent their electorate on a vote by vote basis, not on what a party wants or which business lobbies and supports any group but on what the constituents want .

    this would reduce the number of members in parliament or make electorates smaller and give the voice back to the people

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  15. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    I don’t think that political parties should be funded by the tax payer, however, I do think that the official campaigns in election year should all be restricted to the same budget level.

    Just because one party may have wealthy benefactors, and can therefore spend more on advertising etc, encouraging votes and so on, should not in any way limit the others – not tax payer funded, but capped at the same amount.

    Give them all the same amount and see what they can inventively do with it, and then we may get an idea on how good they will be with a real budget that matters.

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  16. MT_Tinman (3,184 comments) says:

    Most of all it is wrong to force taxpayers to fund political parties whose policies and candidates they may detest.

    I agree.

    It is also wrong for organisations to donate their members’ money to political parties without a 100% agreement from those members.

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  17. David Farrar (1,894 comments) says:

    Judith – the campaigns during the regulated period are restricted to the same budget level.

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  18. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @Judith – “I do think that the official campaigns in election year should all be restricted to the same budget level. ”

    I strongly disagree.

    This would mean that no matter *how stupid and ridiculous* a party’s policies are, they still get a big wad of money to promote those stupid policies.

    Let the PUBLIC decide what is excellent and what is not, and let the funds flow from them accordjingly.

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  19. chris (647 comments) says:

    @anticorruptionnz

    represent their electorate on a vote by vote basis

    How would that work? It’s not like each single electorate has one homogeneous view on things.

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  20. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ thor42 (825 comments) says:
    May 12th, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    No, you didn’t read what I said, the campaigns should be capped, but not govt funded.

    Meaning, each political party can only put the same amount towards their campaigning. A great way of preventing claims that some party only won because they had the most to spend, plus it allows the public to see just how each party performs managing the same budget.

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  21. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    David Farrar (1,817 comments) says:
    May 12th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks David, I didn’t know that.

    Well, that makes it interesting – and removes claims of ‘winning by money spent’ – thanks.

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  22. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    are the greens having trouble getting cash out of their lazy ass voters?

    IF public funding came in, any party who received tax payer cash should be banned from receiving donations.

    Then again, the unions would just campaign on behalf of..

    fuck it, no govt funded cash for these scumbags

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  23. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    Aside from entrenching the current parties in parliament, taxpayer funding will also help entrench the incumbent Government. Typically this style of funding is based on a formula of votes won last election and current membership base. Both are higher for the sitting Government than the party in Opposition. Natural state of life. People back winners. So like DPF says, this is anti-deomcratic naked self-interest from the Greens and Labour. But then that’s how they roll these days

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  24. OTGO (548 comments) says:

    I think if the voters of NZ found out how much money in total their elected MP’s cost us per member now they wouldn’t have a bar of supporting any further funding to get elected in the first place. I’m talking about the total figure to run parliament, pay MP salaries and perks of existing and former MP’s, travel costs etc. I bet we’d all be shocked at the numbers. Maybe someone could tell us what it is?
    Maybe if we knew we might then govern the country with 70 MP’s and not 120.

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  25. Fentex (971 comments) says:

    I have always thought the need to attract minimal support to fund basic operations is a good measure of social interest and support for a political party representing a useful proxy for sufficient interest in making it viable.

    And I have no problem finding that a quite separate issue from a need to police against corrupt practices, though the implications may annoy some.

    If we were to publicly fund political parties then they must also not be allowed to accept private funds, that seems a logical given. For if that wasn’t the rule no problem is solved. If all legal political funding came from public funds then identifying corrupt payments is easy.

    But that raises a lot of issues of how a party attracts such funding and comes into existence in the first place which no matter how well designed seems highly probable to form a power-block of existing parties against any new reforming parties.

    I think the suggestion is an answer to the question of how to prevent corrupt practices, but I also suspect it’s a way of suppressing freedom of speech, reforming political activity and reducing the effectiveness of the ballot box (which MMP already does to an extent as it grants political parties and not voters – in practice – final say of exactly who will be in parliament).

    I further think contemplating the idea illustrates we can’t think of political funding as either free speech or not but a matter in between where regulation has a place – at the minimum of ever increasing transparency as technology permits.

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  26. ross001 (206 comments) says:

    Most of all it is wrong to force taxpayers to fund political parties whose policies and candidates they may detest.

    Taxpayers are “forced” to do many things they might detest, like paying superannuation to the wealthy.

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  27. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “Taxpayers are “forced” to do many things they might detest, like paying superannuation to the wealthy.”

    Or paying for other peoples kids to go to school etc

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  28. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    I think we should have left this thread empty as a strong silent statement

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  29. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    Remember – If they get this National will NOT repeal it.

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  30. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (888 comments) says:

    This is exactly what the clowns have been planning for a long time. Like hell I will give my tax dollars to fund the toxic Greens.

    @peoplesflag – Even if Labour pays to come for dinner with David Cunliffe, you wouldn’t get a single person turning up. Go figure bro.

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  31. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    As I continually state, lefties are nothing but fiscally illiterate leeches. Show one of them who is a financial success? They continually lie, distort, and show their envy of the successful members of society; now they want those that are already doing the majority of paying to cover their financial ineptitudes. Go suck eggs Labour/Green arseholes, if you can’t run your party funds how the eff can you run a financially sound government?

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  32. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    dime: The so-called wealthy have had the shit taxed out of them in every quarter providing income to breeding for money bludgers, WFF, dole, State houses, etc., etc., so why the hell should they not get some back. The ones doing the whinging don’t pay a damn thing, but expect everything . . . Labour/Green leeches.

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  33. radvad (765 comments) says:

    Just another opportunity to get THEIR grubby little hands into OUR pockets to grab even more of OUR cash so they have more to spend on THEMSELVES.
    NO WAY JOSE.

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  34. Bob R (1,370 comments) says:

    I would prefer politicians were beholden to taxpayers, rather than special interest groups and big money donors or unions.

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  35. kaykaybee (152 comments) says:

    You want to lead a political party Cunliffe, you haul your good self and your wannabe politicians out into the community and get a profile. Do things and do them well and with integrity. Front up, advocate and get the support of the proletariat by goodwill and works.

    Not for one minute would I support entrenching men like you by funding you and your Party compulsorily.

    Bad idea

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  36. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    So Mr. Cunnliffe will be attending a labour Party fundraiser in company with various ‘Rich pricks’.

    While he is there no-one will speak to him and no-one will have anything to do with him. They will devote themselves and their attention ENTIRELY to mine host and hostess, then, having ‘gobbled and slurped’ and handed over their ‘Rich pricks’ cash they will leave, (replete and with ‘wine to go’) having said absolutely NOTHING to Cunnliffe C. during the time they were in his company.

    Based-upon his recent diatribes against the fact that people were actually PAYING to be at a function with John Key, and if he holds true true to his ‘convictions / ethical standards (!!) this is what will be happening at the ‘Labour Party organised’ ‘Wine Tasting’ that PG has bought to our attention. (Thanks PG).

    Somehow I don’t think so….

    As is frequently noted on this forum, it’s quite OK when Labour does such things……

    ‘Hypocrisy, thy name is Labour’

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  37. Grant (443 comments) says:

    For comedic genius Martyn Bradbury is hard to beat.

    Here’s a quote from his blog that only needed the slight tweak to make it twice as funny as the original.
    Enjoy;
    “If NZers want to minimise the corporate influence and the power of foreign investors in our political process, publicly funding elections removes the need for our MPs and their advisers,to have to become defacto real estate agents, political strategists, and holiday home repairmen for people like Donghua Liu and Kim Dotcom.

    Starter for 10: Which 8 words did I add….?
    G
    Edit Typo

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  38. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    How does Cunliffe reconcile his desire for public funding with his secret donors that he refuses to name ?

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  39. wikiriwhis business (3,996 comments) says:

    ““If NZers want to minimise the corporate influence and the power of foreign investors in our political process, publicly funding elections removes the need for our MPs and their advisers….”

    Politicians should have a cap set in place then retire from politics. Ten years govt seats the gone.

    Might curtail political agenda’s. Life time pensions for pollies should be scrapped as well. We might get more quality and sincere representation

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  40. ross001 (206 comments) says:

    How does Cunliffe reconcile his desire for public funding with his secret donors that he refuses to name ?

    Has Key named all those donors who attended Antonies and threw $5K at him?

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  41. dirtbag (22 comments) says:

    “Tax payers are often forced to pay for things they detest”

    Like working for families for example.

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  42. Brian Smaller (4,023 comments) says:

    I have never been a member of any political party and the thought that I have to support people and policies I hate – not just oppose – with my hard earned money makes me sick. If they can’t run a cake stall to get money they shouldn’t be trying to run the country – this includes people who do get my vote.

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  43. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    Come to think of it – why do we even bother to pay MPs a salary? Either they should already be stinking rich before they enter parliament, or they should be able to make a decent living collecting backhanders from wealthy lobbyists like Donghua Liu.

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  44. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    Ross001

    Has Key named all those donors who attended Antonies and threw $5K at him?

    Was he required to under the pecuniary interests register ?

    If he is then I agree with you – If he isn’t then stop being an apologist for corruption. Playing the “others did it too” card is so childish – to be expected from a policies of envy lefty though.

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  45. Steve (North Shore) (4,560 comments) says:

    Message to Cunliffe and Labour.
    You are already funded by the public, it is your salary – anything you have to pay for comes on top of the salary (perks, travel, fuel, not to mention super) So how about funding yourselves?
    Public funding? That kind of nonsense ensures you will never win an election as long as your arse points to the ground

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  46. minus (192 comments) says:

    You could wonder about Cunliffe bringing this up now.
    It won’t happen for this Election.
    But vote for Labour and it may be in place the next Election
    And the idea is universally unpopular
    So don’t vote for the lazy dopey buggers :-)

    Like, for example, let them handle tax funds they way they ran the fucking so-called leadership “primary”
    Run around spouting unapproved policies while doing nothing to actually reveal the comparative abilities of any of the three contenders to actually lead.
    Result: one candidate leaves the party and they select the worst leader anycase.
    Fund the likes of that : not a fucking chance.

    So the Dunce has bought it up now
    As pointed out: not effective this time round, and extremely unpopular
    So doesn’t this just show again how fucking inept this guy and his party are?
    Couldn’t think of a better indication

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  47. Bogusnews (473 comments) says:

    It is a problem for Labour and the greens. Because they promote policies that only relate to people who constantly feel the need to jingle a cup under your nose, when it comes time to ask them to support Labour, they just aren’t used to it. They are accustomed to being given everything and paying for little. No wonder they won’t open their purse for these guys. They’ve been programmed to only take, not give.

    Labour must have recognised this, so see the answer as taking money from us, by force. As an added bonus, their constituents, who typically don’t pay tax, won’t feel the effect.

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  48. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    ross001: Have you done a leeching leftie and changed your Id? Your filthy envy is still apparent . . . get a job, a life, and grow up.

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  49. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Ross001: Has Key named all those donors who attended Antonies and threw $5K at him?

    The bleating from the left about a dinner at Antoines, is barely audible above the gnashing of teeth from the War Room.

    Because Labour has finally twigged that people are willing to pay money to enjoy (in this case) fine dining at a fundraiser attended by the PM, but not so keen to fork out a fraction of that amount for an evening at Trades Hall where the ‘speakers’ are one of a ‘stellar’ line-up that includes Cunliffe, Robertson, Parker, Mallard et al.

    Slow learners.

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