Next government must follow through on banning corporate donations. Only the Greens are willing to shine the light on how campaigns are funded.
The Green party today outlined proposals to make the funding of politics in Ireland more transparent, and highlighted the fact that the largest political parties have put up a wall to hide behind in terms of where they get their money from.
“Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael have said that between them they will spend in the region of €5 million on this election, which is the equivalent of employing 150 people on the average industrial wage for a year,” Green party TD Trevor Sargent said.
“However neither Fine Gael nor Labour have declared any donations for the latest year available with the Standards in Public Office Commission, and Fianna Fáil has declared just €11,800. This compares with the €46,552 that the Green party declared for the same year.
“Fine Gael has not made any pu blic declarations of donations for nearly a decade. So – where’s the money? Where did all the cash that’s being splashed about on this election come from? If the parties can’t be straight with you about that, how can you trust them on other issues?
Deputy Sargent said that the Greens had proposals to open up political party finances to greater scrutiny. He said this was vital as Fine Gael, Labour and Fianna Fáil have all accepted significant donations from bankers and developers.
“The Green party is the only party that wants to ban corporate donations, make the publication of political party accounts mandatory, and lower the threshold for declaring political donations,” he said.
“Other political parties adopt the ‘I won it on a bet’ approach to telling the public about where their money and how they spend it.”
The Green Party has always refused to accept corporate donations and believes that political donations should come from individual citizens only. The simple principle behind this stance is that a company, under law, cannot act altruistically – a company has a legal obligation to advance the interests of its shareholders. Any corporate donation, however well-intentioned, carries with it the implication that it furthers the interests of the company. As the role of politicians is to advance the interests of citizens, the practice of corporate funding of political parties should be ended. — I am using the free version of SPAMfighter.
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