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Don't burden taxpayers with party funding

Published:Monday | December 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Don't burden taxpayers with party funding

Joan Williams

Give More to Political Parties? Absolutely Not!


I am absolutely amazed, for despite several senators grandstanding and claiming they object to taxpayers funding political parties, guess what? They approved the amendments to the Representation of People's Act without removing that offensive requirement!

So soon it will be legal for taxpayers to be pressured further to come up with more money to finance political activity. And I deliberately said "more money", since, as Tom Tavares-Finson reminded us, we already provide a high degree of funding.

He gave as an example the last general election where the money paid to party workers exceeded $50 million. And I am sure he did not take into consideration what goes into parish councillors' salaries, for they are more beneficial to the PNP and JLP to carry out their party's activities at the grass roots than they are to us in their divisions!

Further, does anyone ever know how much of the current million-dollar and near-million-dollar telephone bills that some minister run up annually go into their working in the interest of the country versus for private political campaigning?

According to those who pushed the legislation for taxpayers to bankroll the political parties, this will prevent those with deep pockets who now finance the parties from influencing policy.

Hah! Since we are a country notorious for a lack of accountability and transparency, will someone tell me how picking taxpayers' pockets will remedy this malady?