Saturday, 2 April 2011

May likely for Party Funding report

Sir Christopher Kelly's review of Party Funding seems to have come to the end of taking evidence, with much sterling stuff published in the transcripts. I think, though, he's missed the boat on reporting. Promised for 'late Spring 2011' I doubt he'll now wish to publish during the 'purdah' period for both the AV referendum and the local elections, making a mid to late May publication date likely.

Which way is it likely to go? Hard to say. As much of the evidence, written and oral, fails to support Hayden Phillips' proposals on tax funding, which grossly skewed the advantage to incumbency, I can't imagine the Phillips report being endorsed in this respect. However, Phillips' proposed £50k funding cap seems to have found wider favour - except amongst the comrades, obv. If a formula can be found for Union funding, this has more chance of being recommended. 

What's also clear is that the politicians are ruefully aware that now is not a good time to announce any increase in State funding; the LibDems in particular are crying into their beards at the timing. 

It will be hard getting the findings a decent airing in the brief gap between the polling date and the date the House rises when our MPs disappear to their rented Tuscan villas for the Summer, but in this case I think the timing is accidental rather than politically contrived. 

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