PLANNING Secretary Romulo B. Neris proposal for funding political parties is an idea whose time has come, but like all great ideas, it wont unduly suffer from a little more thought.
He proposes that corporations and individuals be allowed to tick off a small portion of their tax payments (R100,000 or more than 1 percent, whichever is lower, from corporations and between R2,000 and R5,000 or no more than 2 percent for individuals) as contributions to the political party of their choice.
Hes realistic enough to recognize that such an arrangement will not necessarily stop unscrupulous businessmen from making illegal contributions in exchange for concessions, but it should give companies a say in how politicians craft policy, particularly those affecting businesses.
Perhaps, its an oversight, but he doesnt say how individual contributions will give taxpayers a say in how policy is crafted. Theoretically, this depends on what politicians promise in their campaigns.
But there could be something in the chief planners hope that public financing of political parties can liberate them from vested interests and wealthy individuals. …