Wednesday, February 09, 2011

He who pays the piper, calls the tune

A study by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism has found that the City accounted for £11.4m of Tory funding – 50.79% of its total haul – in 2010, a general election year. This compared with £2.7m, or 25% of its funding, in 2005, when David Cameron became party leader.

John Cryer, a member of the Treasury select committee, said: "With over half of Conservative party funds coming from the City, it's no wonder this Tory-led government is letting the banks off the hook. George Osborne is giving the banks a tax cut compared to last year and is refusing to adopt Labour's plan to repeat last year's £3.5bn bank bonus tax as well as the bank levy. Even with yesterday's panic announcement the Tory-led government is taking less from the banks than the Labour government did last year. And there is still no sign of a deal on increased bank lending, greater transparency and restraint on bonuses. People will now suspect that the real reason why George Osborne has been so soft is that he cannot afford to upset his paymasters."

David Rowland, a property tycoon, donated £4m over two years.
Michael Farmer, founder of the RK Capital hedge fund, is the second biggest individual donor after handing the Tories £2.9m over five years.
Stanley Fink, another hedge fund manager who was given a peerage donated £1.9m.
George Magan, who gave the party £485,000, was given a peerage alongside Fink last year.
Roger Nagioff, former head of fixed trading at Lehman Brothers, has donated £180,000

Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg, an authority on political party funding at the University of Liverpool, told the bureau: "The findings raise issues about how influenced and impartial the Conservatives are as they set about reforming and regulating the banking industry. It is admittedly difficult to prove that because parties access money from specific sources that there is a feed through into the policies they adopt. Yet, given Given we have just experienced a blowout in the financial system, and are witnessing an ongoing struggle over its regulation, the scale of Conservative party funding from the City must be an issue – not least for a party committed to 'taking big money out of politics'."

In another Guardian article George Monbiot describes how adjustments the government is planning to the tax acts of 1988 and 2009 will be the the biggest corporate tax cut in living memory. The UK will be only the second country in the world to allow money that has passed through tax havens to remain untaxed when it gets here. The other is Switzerland. The exemption applies solely to "large and medium companies": it is not available for smaller firms. The main beneficiaries, in other words, will be the banks. But in addition, big business will also be exempt from tax on its foreign branch earnings, yet still be able to claim the expense of funding its foreign branches against tax it pays in the UK. No other country does this. The members of the seven committees the government set up to provide strategic oversight of the development of corporate tax policy are corporate executives. Among them are representatives of Vodafone, Tesco, BP, British American Tobacco and several of the major banks: HSBC, Santander, Standard Chartered, Citigroup, Schroders, RBS and Barclays.

Monbiot writes "I have realised that injustice of the kind described in this column is no perversion of the system; it is the system. Tony Blair came to power after assuring the City of his benign intentions. He then deregulated it and cut its taxes. Cameron didn't have to assure it of anything: his party exists to turn its demands into public policy. Our ministers are not public servants. They work for the people who fund their parties, run the banks and own the newspapers...Our political system protects and enriches a fantastically wealthy elite"

As Karl Marx explained in the Communist Manifesto "The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie." The sight of shady businessmen with access to Number 10 in return for campaign contributions would have shocked him not at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Alan, just found this on Uk Uncut:

Hope this works?