POLITICS

Manitoba appoints former politician, scholar to set subsidies for parties

09/14/2012 12:26 EDT | Updated 11/14/2012 05:12 EST
WINNIPEG - The Manitoba government has appointed a former politician and scholar to determine how political parties should be subsidized by the public.

William Neville has been named the province's first independent allowance commissioner.

He is tasked with finding a replacement for a subsidy set up in 2007 that was dubbed the "vote tax" by critics.

Under the system, political parties were eligible for $1.25 annually for every vote they received in the most recent election.

But the move proved to be controversial, and the Progressive Conservatives and NDP refused to accept the money.

Neville served on Winnipeg city council for 10 years and is a senior scholar in political studies at the University of Manitoba.

NDP house leader Jennifer Howard says Neville will develop a fair and transparent method for helping political parties cover their operating costs.