The Sunday Times Rich List: Nine out of 10 top political donors give to Tories

(23 Posts)
ttosca Tue 23-Apr-13 00:17:47

Almost all of Britain’s top political donors hand their cash over to bankroll the Conservatives, figures buried in the annual Rich List show.

Out of the 50 biggest donations made by individuals last year, 43 went to David Cameron’s party, as the coalition he leads continued to hand tax breaks to the rich while hammering ordinary workers.

The biggest Tory donor was upmarket metal dealer Michael Farmer, who gave them £1.3million.

The hedge fund founder, known as the “king of copper”, is worth £150million and is 522nd on the list of Britain and Ireland’s wealthiest.

Mr Farmer, 68, the Tory party’s co-Treasurer, embarrassed party chiefs last year when it emerged he had paid for son George to join Oxford University’s elite and controversial Bullingdon Club.

Mr Farmer also bailed out ­the Oxford Conservative Association when a racism row led to it being banned from holding events.

Second highest Tory backer is hedge fund boss Lord Fink, 55, who gave a huge £289,240. Worth £130million and the owner of a £10million London penthouse, he came 608th on the overall list.

Labour has accused Chancellor George Osborne of using last month’s Budget to hand a huge tax break to hedge fund bosses.

By axeing stamp duty reserve tax he saved them a total of £145million a year.

Third highest Tory backer is David Rowland, 67, who gave £287,248. He is so rich he actually owns a Luxembourg bank with his son Jonathan, 37.

The pair, recently given permission to open a branch of Banque Havilland in the UK and worth £700million, are ranked 126th.

Other backers include ex-Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas, who donated £215,244. He was forced to stand down over allegations he arranged dinners with the PM in exchange for party donations.

JCB founders Sir Anthony Bamford and family dug deep with a £188,500 donation while Sir Paul Ruddock – who was recently given a knighthood by Mr ­Cameron – coughed up £83,500.

The Tories also netted £50,000 from Wigan FC chairman Dave Whelan.And celebrity crimper and Lulu ex John Frieda gave a cut of his £150million by donating £62,260.

Richest Tory backers are Tetrapak billionaire Hans Rausing and family. Worth £5.1billion, they gave £98,000.

Meanwhile just five rich backers including Sir Alan Sugar gave money to Labour. Two of the top 50 donations went to the Lib Dems.

Labour MP Grahame Morris said: “This is proof, if any were needed, that this is a government of the rich, by the rich, for the rich who bankroll the Tories.”

The Sunday Times Rich List was topped by Russian Alisher Usmanov, 59, who owns nearly 30% of Arsenal FC and is worth around £13.3billion.

Sir Paul Mc- Cartney, 70, still rock’n’rolling in it with around £680million, is the UK’s richest entertainer.

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sunday-times-rich-list-nine-1846462

claig Tue 23-Apr-13 13:02:32

Just goes to show that money and good sense go together

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 23-Apr-13 16:34:39

Wealthy individuals support the Tory Party
Wealthy unions support the Labour Party
Woods are a convenient latrine for creatures from the genus ursus
.....

ttosca Tue 23-Apr-13 20:37:54

Yes, except unions represent millions of individuals directly and fight for the rights of the majority, whilst millionaires represent a tiny minority of the population and fight for the rights of the already rich.

niceguy2 Wed 24-Apr-13 09:21:24

Shock...rich people donate to the Tories!?!? Whatever next? Unions donating to Labour????

ssd Wed 24-Apr-13 09:28:01

so it doesn't bother posters here when the richest in the country get a tax cut and the mansion tax is repelled....and it so happens that the tories rely on the rich to bankroll their party?

we just get smart arsed comments about bears shitting in the woods and shock.....???? comments?

that makes it ok?

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Wed 24-Apr-13 09:32:21

- and they complain about union members giving £2 a month as being 'unfair'

MoreBeta Wed 24-Apr-13 09:32:39

Personally I would like to see a scheme where union and individual donations were outlawed. Instead introduce a scheme where you can designate £10 per month out of the tax you pay (or benefits you receive) to a named political party.

That way, no union or rich individual could buy influence over a political party. Also it would mean small political parties could get started more easily if the population were willing to donate.

The donations would be a good way for the population to have a continuing 'vote' over what a Govt did in office. If people didnt like the policies they could just switch their donation and Govt would get an instant message that voters didnt like what they were doing.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Wed 24-Apr-13 09:35:22

All that means is an unpopular party would not win the next election because campaign funds would be depleted, which is sort of what happens anyway. What would be interesting is people could choose to boost an underdog party to even up the debate (or to try to split the vote of the opposition!)

MoreBeta Wed 24-Apr-13 09:38:27

Yes I am thinking that people might choose to boost underdog parties like UKIP and Green and maybe even single issue parties like NO2ID.

niceguy2 Wed 24-Apr-13 10:08:18

so it doesn't bother posters here when the richest in the country get a tax cut

If you are referring to the 50% tax rate being reduced to 45% then nope, it doesn't bother me at all.

I really doubt those people on the Times Rich List pay a big proportion of the taxes in the form of income tax. Much of their wealth will be assets rather than cash income like an employee would typically earn.

The 50% tax rate was also a very (clever) trap set by an outgoing Labour government for the Tories. Even by their own admission it was a temporary tax rise so I find it quite hypocritical that they pillory the Tories for reducing a tax they themselves said would only be for a short time.

ssd Wed 24-Apr-13 10:35:27

niceguy for christs sake, that's about 3 or 4 of my posts you've quote back to me recently, whats your problem?

niceguy2 Wed 24-Apr-13 14:12:45

Hadn't realised I had. I'm not stalking you if that is what you are thinking. Just pure coincidence.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Apr-13 15:06:56

It doesn't bother me that the richest got a tax cut. I support a flat tax system more generally and would like to see a higher tax-free allowance and income tax at a flat 25% (or similar) beyond that. As for unions supporting the Labour Party, do the members get to choose that or is it assumed they all go along with it?

ttosca Wed 24-Apr-13 16:05:17

Cogito-

> It doesn't bother me that the richest got a tax cut. I support a flat tax system more generally and would like to see a higher tax-free allowance and income tax at a flat 25% (or similar) beyond that.

Great! What's needed now more than ever is even more wealth inequality!

> As for unions supporting the Labour Party, do the members get to choose that or is it assumed they all go along with it?

Why would unions support the Tory party when they have throughout history consistently attacked workers rights and workers wages?

niceguy2 Wed 24-Apr-13 16:09:37

You haven't answered Cogito's question but instead asked a different one of your own.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 24-Apr-13 17:28:33

Not unions, union members. Do try to keep up. Why does being part of a union mean that the assumption is the members want to donate to the Labour Party? What if they vote for a different party? (and psst... some will be Tory voters, stands to reason) Are they allowed to opt out?

A flat tax for income would be tax equality with a large section of the working population taken out of paying tax all together ... that seems like a reasonable, not to say fair, ambition. As pointed out early, the very wealthy are seldom on the PAYE system but derive their income from assets, dividends and so forth. Smart income taxation plus very big tax breaks for charitable giving and philanthropic projects far more effective I'd have thought.

YohedYoshoulderYonisandYotoes Wed 24-Apr-13 19:25:53

Yes you can opt out of a donation to the Labour party!

Percentages are not always fair. Think about it, if all salaries increase by 8% a year (FAIR) they all double in 5 years.

That means on £20k you would have £20k extra after five years, whereas someone on £40k has a new £40k added. The gap between you was £20k, but at five years is £40k, and at ten years, £80,000, so a 'fair' percentage increase has resulted in an acceleartion of the gap between rich and poor.

Redressing that is one function of taxation. Taking a 'fair' flat percentage rate does nothing to stop this acceleration of inequity - it buys into the same fallacy.

These people pay the Tory party to ensure that conditions favourable to personal wealth are encouraged for as long as possible, and fought for when they are not in power. It is not, in my view, good for society to have individuals wealthy, but the mass population impoverished. People on the rich list would disagree.

MrJudgeyPants Wed 24-Apr-13 22:23:31

I would have thought that the fairest system would be one where you could earn up to the 'living wage' tax free and then have a flat tax on whatever you earn beyond that point. After all if you are earning more than the living wage it is, by definition, disposable income whether you earn £1k above the living wage or £100k above the living wage.

ttosca Thu 25-Apr-13 00:20:00

Cogito-

> Not unions, union members. Do try to keep up. Why does being part of a union mean that the assumption is the members want to donate to the Labour Party? What if they vote for a different party? (and psst... some will be Tory voters, stands to reason) Are they allowed to opt out?

The assumption is quite reasonable, seeing as the Tory party has consistently attacked workers rights.

But yes, since unions are democratic, you can raise your point at your union meeting and argue that the union should stop funding the Labour party which historically (if not now) has supported workers rights and instead support the Tories, which have historically attacked them and the right to unionise.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 25-Apr-13 17:43:11

"These people pay the Tory party to ensure that conditions favourable to personal wealth are encouraged for as long as possible,"

Surely that's a good thing? Doesn't everyone want to be wealthy or at least 'comfortably off' ? Isn't personal ambition to make and retain a few quid what gets a lot of us up in the morning? Sales of lottery tickets suggest that parity of income or wealth is not on the average wish-list. Conditions favourable to wealth and conditions to reduce poverty can successfully co-exist.

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 13:51:20

They haven't really had a tax cut. The 50% rate did not yield much. Not many people pay income tax at that level so it was all pretty pointless. It just meant people left the UK.

Most main political parties have had trouble attracting donors as those who have contributed keep finding it backfires on them. It's a bit of a death wish to contribute. The list in the Times of the richest politicians
www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/life/article3749110.ece which you cannot access unless you pay, shows a good few who contribute to Labour. Tony Blair of course is on the list.

ttosca Fri 26-Apr-13 14:36:31

Cogito-

> Surely that's a good thing? Doesn't everyone want to be wealthy or at least 'comfortably off' ? Isn't personal ambition to make and retain a few quid what gets a lot of us up in the morning? Sales of lottery tickets suggest that parity of income or wealth is not on the average wish-list. Conditions favourable to wealth and conditions to reduce poverty can successfully co-exist.

There's no necessarily correlation between the profitability of corporations and the welfare/prosperity of citizens.

The situation we're in now is testament to that fact: Corporate profitability is at a high, yet workers wages have stagnated for decades, and the use of foodbanks is soaring.

What your saying is just another way of promoting discredited 'trickle-down' economics. It doesn't work. Wealth inequality has never been greater.

Please examine this:

---------------------------------

Corporate Profitability

Corporations are making "historic levels" of profit:

Economy built for profits not prosperity, by Lawrence Mishel, EPI: Newly released data on corporate profitability for 2012 show the continuation of historic levels of profitability despite excessive unemployment and stagnant wages for most workers. Specifically, the share of capital income (such as profits and interest, which are hereafter referred to as ‘profits’) in the corporate sector increased to 25.6 percent in 2012, the highest in any year since 1950-1951 and far higher than the 19.9 percent share prevailing over 1969-2007, the five business cycles preceding the financial crisis. ...

This helps to explain the lack of enthusiasm among corporate leaders for a jobs/stimulus program. They're doing fine. (Though that won't stop them from arguing that corporate tax cuts -- which would further increase the mountain of cash they are sitting on -- are the key to the recovery. Note however that business investment is relatively strong and "This historic share of income going to profits reflects historically high returns on investments, meaning more profit per dollar of assets.")

Update: I meant to add, if only there was some way of putting those idle funds -- and people -- to work productively (picture Paul Krugman banging his head against the wall in frustration as our infrastructure crumbles...)

economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2013/03/corporate-profitability.html

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