Communications allowance - A method of funding Labour campaigns

I agree with Iain Dale in his opposition to the proposed "Communications allowance" that MP's will vote on today. Although to moan about MP's sending letters out trumpeting their achievements is perhaps a little rich coming from Iain, considering the amount of Conservative Central Office mailings that were posted during Iain Dale's general election campaign in North Norfolk.

Obviously some MP's spend a lot of money communicating with their constituents and this will be of enormous benefit to those MP's who do this well and want to do a better job of it. However, to my mind Iain has missed a major point of why Labour are so keen on this.

This £10,000 will, of course, be very carefully managed by Labour from Millbank. It will be used essentially to make up for the shortfall in local donations to the Labour Party and will go towards target letters, and the like in an attempt to keep Labour MP's their seats.

I can understand why some Lib Dem MP's would like the idea. It essentially makes it easier for Lib Dem MP's to do what they already do, but I hope this proposal does not go through as it will only really benefit the Labour Party, after all, they have more MP's.

Of course the real test will be if the Tories do ever get in to power, would they abolish it ?


TimberWolf said...


This hardly makes for a level playing field. The Conservative MP for my constituency already has her quarterly full colour newsletters, printed on glossy paper, paid for by the Taxpayer. Almost certainly the delivery cost as is claimed as well, although she will not confirm this.

Norfolk Blogger said...

In North Norfolk we (Lib Dems) issue amongst our leaflets each year an annual report from Norman Lamb, but this is 100% paid for by Lib Dem members and fundraising in North Norfolk, with no expense to the tax payer. This didn't stop the Tory agent though writing to the paper claiming the opposite without checking any facts. She later had to write an apology.

You are right though that it is an incumbents campaigning fund.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

I see that half the Lib dem group voted for it! By the way, how's iy any different from state funding? Shame on the Lib Dems (+ two Tory) MPS would voted for the idea!

Norfolk Blogger said...

Of course the Tories were never going to accept it. Funny though because Tory Council groups across the country have put up councillors allowances exponentially and I have never seen you cricise them ?

Certainly authorities in Norfolk (Breckland comes to mind) have seen large increases recently whilst Lib Dem North Norfolk actually cut memebrs allowances by 2%