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Nicole Bolleyer and Anika Gauja, "Parliamentary salaries as a party resource: Party organizational power in Westminster democracies," Party Politics, 19 (September 2013), 778-797. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
State funding for political parties is a highly salient issue in many democracies, not only those where problematic funding practices have been discovered. This interest has led to a range of comparative studies on parties' dependency on state resources in advanced democracies that tend to focus on direct state funding and its legal regulation (e.g. Casas-Zamora, 2005; van Biezen, 2009; see for broader perspectives Nassmacher, 2009; van Biezen and Kopecky, 2007). However, the indirect ways in which political parties access the resources of public office have received relatively little attention in comparative work. Such practices are rarely legally regulated but form part of informal and often hidden intra-organizational processes.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. The horizontal and vertical dimensions of taxing in Westminster parties.
Table 2. Party ideology and tax-shares of national MPs in four Westminster democracies
Table 3. Party family and the taxing of 25 parties in five Westminster democracies.
Figure 1. Left--right positions of parties and tax-share (percent).

Last Paragraph:
(First paragraph of conclucion) In this article, we analysed the practice of party taxing in 25 political parties in five established Westminster democracies, a widespread but so far under-studied source of party income. To map out existing practices, we developed a typology of taxing practices based on two key dimensions: horizontal (taxing of national MPs) and vertical (institutionalization of taxing across levels). Conceptualizing party taxes as an organizational obligation, we identified party family as a key variable to account for the propensity of particular parties to tax along the horizontal and vertical dimension with socialist, green, social and Christian democratic parties have a tendency to tax their MPs, while liberal and conservative parties refrain from touching their MPs' salaries. Similarly, party ideology as a factor contributing to the socialization of party MPs influenced the amount they were willing to pay -- with socialist and green MPs paying the largest levies. Finally, federal systems strengthened the regional level as the main beneficiary of taxes received by both national and regional MPs, a finding in line with case studies looking at taxing practices in federal systems in Continental Europe such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland (Nassmacher, 2001, 2009; Sickinger, 2009). Other external institutional variables (the electoral system, parliamentary salaries and state funding regimes) seem to affect the patterns of party taxing in Westminster democracies comparatively less.

Last updated November 2013