One of the things I've been forced to consider as an Independent Candidate is the question of raising money to pay for advertising, leaflets, postage and so on. Unlike the main parties, I don't have oodles of cash to hire advertising agencies and to pay for celebrity endorsement films. Like every other regular person, I have my wages and a little savings so I'm going to need help just to try and get noticed. Of course, there are rules to political donations.
It's unlikely I'm going to get a Bernie Ecclestone to hand over a million quid, but it's wise to check the rules anyway. What I discovered was donations to political parties of up to £500 can be deducted from the donator's tax bill.
Basically, the donator can choose to give £500 to a party instead of the tax man.Or put another way, the political parties are legally allowed to steal taxes. Nice one guys. But they don't stop there.
I discovered this from the Finance Bill -
379AA.--(1) Tax relief shall be available to an individual (the donor) in accordance with this section on qualifying political donations made by him of up to £500 in any year of assessment.So basically, the parties shut out the competition. Only a party can thieve from the exchequer.
(2) A donation is a qualifying political donation for the purposes of this section if it is made to an eligible political party and--(a) it takes the form of the payment of a sum of money,(b) it is not subject to a condition as to repayment,(c) it is not conditional on or associated with, or part of an arrangement involving, the acquisition of property by the political party, otherwise than by way of gift, from the donor or a person connected with him, and(d) the donor is resident in the United Kingdom at the time the donation is made.
(3) For the purposes of this section a political party is an eligible political party if, at the last general election preceding the donation in question--(a) two members of that party were elected to the House of Commons, or(b) one member of that party was elected to the House of Commons and not less than 150,000 votes were given to candidates who were members of that party.
In a cosy little arrangement they've ensured that it's extremely difficult for any new party to raise money and virtually impossible for independents.
And they call this democracy?
I felt a little guilty about putting a Donate button on my blog. I've always been pretty self-sufficient and I hate asking for help. But seeing the way the main parties have connived to weight the system towards themselves, I don't think I should feel guilty. In fact, I'm so bloody angry about this I'm going to make it my mission if elected to make all donations to politicians subject to tax. How bloody dare they imagine they can blithely thieve from us all?
And, unlike them, I'll make it clear where every penny of donations goes to so you can see what your money buys. I'll publish a clear list after the election on this blog.
As a guideline, this is what a donation will do -
# £5 pays for 300 brochures
# £10 lets me leaflet 1000 people in a city centre on a Saturday afternoon
# £50 gives me a month's worth of Google Ads
# £150 pays for 500 badges
# £200 will print 1000 posters for supporters' windows
# £500 will pay for a month's worth of Facebook adverts
So don't feal squeamish about donating. Every penny goes towards breaking the stranglehold the parties have on us all.
Donate at Allans Blog if you wish