“Labor’s secret agenda to rig the political donations and disclosure system to give them an unfair political advantage has been exposed today,” Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
Senator Birmingham is a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters which today heard evidence as part of its inquiry into Labor’s plans to change laws regarding tax deductibility of political donations.
“In today’s evidence from witnesses it was revealed that, under Labor’s proposals, tax deductibility for political donations and memberships will be removed from everyone except union members, Members of Parliament, MPs’ staff, party employees and lobbyists.
“In other words, for most citizens you now have to join a union to receive tax deductibility to fully participate in the political process.
“Effectively, Labor’s proposal is disenfranchising ordinary citizens and party supporters from donating whilst at the same time encouraging union members to help further fill the Labor Party’s coffers.
“Labor’s changes will leave trade unionists and lobbyists with special tax privileges regarding political donations, but strip Mums and Dads and even young internet activists of any tax incentive to participate in the political process.
“This underhanded proposal has presumably been signed off by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.
“This is Kevin Rudd’s favoured political tactic to float above the political fray with media spectacles like the 2020 Summit whilst his backroom operators such as Senator Faulkner engage in underhanded tactics.
“The onus is now on Kevin Rudd to rein in his backroom operators and stop trying to rig political fundraising rules.”