Russian political parties are increasingly dependent on budgetary financing

Russian political parties are increasingly dependent on budgetary financing

Over the past six years the parliamentary party has received directly from the Federal budget over 31.5 billion rubles., estimated by experts of “Voice”, which published on Friday an analytical report on the financing of parliamentary parties in Russia, 2012-2017

All this time, the budget was not only a major source of income for parties, its share has grown steadily. 2012-2017 budget funds by all four parliamentary parties were, on average, 63.6% of the total funding, and in 2017 — 81.5%. The absolute champion became the liberal democratic party, which this proportion was 96.7% (Vice-speaker of the state Duma from LDPR Igor Lebedev has refused to discuss the issues of financing the party as boring), less all depends on the budget “Fair Russia” — 73%. The growth of state funding is preserved after the election in 2016, even though the winning party voted for 2 million less than in 2011, but the price of votes for the party in 2017 has raised from 110 to 152 RUB.

With an increase of state funding of parties reduce the volume of collected donations. So, compared to the 2015 “United Russia” and LDPR has been a sharp decline in donations, while you have lost a part of budget funds of the Communist party and “Fair Russia” there is an inverse relationship — the amount of their attracted funds increased by 1.5−2 times. To increase public support for the parties have neither the political nor the economic situation, says the head of legal services Communist party Vadim Solovyov: income and entrepreneurs are falling.

The report notes that such a model of government funding has not led to the strengthening of political parties and their work at the local level.

Instead, experts talk about the growing bureaucratization of the party apparatus and reduce the dependence of functionaries from the voters, “United Russia” and the Communist party about half the cost goes to the maintenance of the Central apparatus and regional offices, ie the party bureaucracy. But the number of party members and the involvement of their supporters in the activity grows.

For comparison: to participate in elections and advocacy of the “United Russia” for six years, spent 29% of their costs (in 2017 of 25.7%), and the Communist party — 35,4% (in 2017 of 22.9%).

However, almost double the gap in financial security of the “United Russia” and all the other parliamentary parties taken together, leaves no chance for the formation in Russia in the near future, a competitive political field. The budget of the party in power in 2017 by 1.8 times exceeded the total budget of the three other parties. In 2012 the gap was only 1.5 times.

Official financing is not the only way of state parties. They (or related parties organizations) also provide free of charge premises, grants, subsidies.

Thus, the “Young guard of United Russia” in 2012-2017 has received presidential grants in the amount of RUB 37 million Associated with the Communist party organizations “Leadership projects” and “Sports club of the Communist party” received for the same period of the presidential grants amounting to almost 46 million rubles., and connected with the “Fair Russia” the Fund “Center of protection of the rights of citizens” in 2017 received a budget subsidy in the amount of 120 million rubles. SRS lead an important project, it is not electoral and aimed at helping citizens and is one of the areas of donations, explained Eser Mikhail Emelyanov. “This year’s major elections — sponsors for them to come themselves”, he said.

Established by the leader of LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Institute of world civilizations had to pass the 14-storey building of the Russian Academy of Sciences, located on Leninsky Prospekt.

In addition, we found that more than 90% of the companies receiving contracts are donors of one party — “United Russia”.

Saved and hidden foreign funding. And although the scale has decreased significantly since 2015-2016.., among the sponsors of the party “United Russia” managed to find the company, the ultimate owners of which are foreign firms.

According to the authors of the report, the system of state funding of political parties needs to be reviewed for promotion of contacts with voters and activity at the grassroots level.

You might think about replacing direct state support of political parties and NGOs the introduction of a selective tax, which would allow citizens to self-direct a portion of their paid taxes to support specific organizations, propose the authors of the report. According to them, citizens could obtain the opportunity to dispose of 0.5% of their paid personal income tax, so the state now spends to support political parties and NGOs.