‘Political movements should be subsidised’

Political movements such as Geert Wilders’ one-man party PVV and Rita Verdonk’s TON should be eligible for state subsidies, a government advisory body said on Tuesday.

The public management council (ROB) said in its report that parties without members like the PVV and TON should qualify for subsidies based on the number of people donating cash – so long as the list of donations is made public.
In addition, donors would have to be able to exert influence on the party, the council said.
At the moment political parties are subsidised according to the size of their membership and how many seats they have in parliament.
Lack of funding
Wilders has always made a point of the party’s lack of funding. ‘The PVV is the only party in parliament to refuse subsidies and is thus entirely dependent on donations,’ Wilders’ own website states. According to the NRC, the party does get over €1m a year to fund its parliamentary operations.
Home affairs minister Guusje ter Horst has rejected the recommendation that parties without members also be entitled to extra subsidies, the Telegraaf reports. ‘I do not see what it would achieve,’ the paper quoted her as saying.
She is also opposed to removing the limit on financial donations to political parties. The minister is curently working on draft legislation which would impose a €25,000 ceiling for individual donations and €700 for anonymous gifts.
Political parties are currently required to make all donations over €4,500 public but as both TON and the PVV are not official parties, they do not have to comply.
Currently just 2.5% of the population is a member of a political party.

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