2015 Policy Motion: Reform of Party Funding and Lobbying

Proposer: Jack Maizels
Seconder: To be confirmed

Unlock Democracy notes that:
1. There is no limit to the amount that can be donated to a political party, though all those with a value of over £500 are made publicly available through the Electoral Commission’s database
2. There is no such information available on the money spent on lobbying of decision makers
3. The Department of Economics at the University of Oxford found in March 2015 a significant statistical correlation between donations to political parties and nominations for peerages in the House of Lords.
4. Trust in British politics has fallen in recent years from an already low level in the wake of the expenses scandal. A poll published by Ipsos Mori in January 2015 found use 16% of people trusted politicians to tell the truth, lower than other professions such as estate agents, bankers or journalists.
5. The Organisation has done considerable work on this issue, helping to raise the profile of both issues off the back of a series of scandals

Unlock Democracy believes that:
5. The way both party funding and lobbying are carried out in the UK creates the perception of influence being unduly concentrated in the hands of a few
6. This has a damaging effect on trust in politics, which in turn can prevent people from participating in their democracy
7. The lack of a cap on donations can lead parties to become reliant on thousands from a small number of individuals, rather small amounts from thousands of supporters
8. While lobbying from those are affected or have particular knowledge can help enhance the policies we make, the lack of transparency of who is lobbying whom, when this occurs and how much is being spent is damaging to our democracy

Unlock Democracy resolves to:
9. Actively campaign on the role of money and influence in our politics
10. In particular, highlight the importance of introducing transparency to lobbying and placing a limit on the amount that can be donated to political parties

The motion passed