Thursday, 12 January 2017

Who Do They Work For? Follow the Cashflow...

As sad as it is, this is what I do in my spare time. I ponder questions, google them, get frustrated at the lack of easily digestible and compatible information and compile my own!

Recently I've spent a fair amount of time contemplating the increasing crisis in the NHS and the motivation of our major political parties. Why is our government reducing taxes with one hand and decimating services with the other? Income based taxes continue to fall, while central funding for local government is also reduced leading to increasing council taxes, which inevitably hit the poorest hardest. So I beg the question, who do they really work for?

While the general public are the ones who vote our government into power, the political parties wouldn't exist without their donors. On the surface, decisions that advantage the rich at the expense of the rest of the country may look like incompetence, but if you're one the the 500+ individuals giving the conservative party an average of £22,000 in 2016 then what would you care about social care? You just got a massive tax break while many NHS trusts find themselves in massive financial deficit year on year.

I've compiled information from the Electoral Commission which helpfully layouts how much each party earns from donations from different sources (Individuals, Companies, Trade Unions, ect) and put them in a series of pie charts:

In 2016 the Conservative Party received a total of £21,116,169.17 in donations,distributed mainly between individual, and company donations

In the same period the Labour party received £22,698,544.18, mainly from Trade Unions and public funds

So if we suppose that political parties are out to keep their donors happy then the Conservative Party are much more beholden to wealthy individual donors than Labour are! These figures also explain a part of the Conservative attacks on Trade Unions in this government, by undermining the power of the Trade Unions they make them less attractive to those who would join them, potentially reducing the amount of money they are able to donate to the Labour party.

Like it or loathe it, we live in a capitalist age. Money is power.

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