The Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, has called on Parliament to throw out the Government’s push for taxpayers to fund political parties and politicians.
“This is a con job perpetrated on ordinary Tasmanians,” Ms Johnston said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a nod and a wink between the parties as all will benefit from tens of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars. This is a test for Labor and the Greens: will they wave it through and pocket the money too?
“Why on earth should the general public give money to politicians to run their election campaigns and pay for their party administration?”
Ms Johnston said that the popularity and relevance of the established political parties has declined markedly over recent decades. Labor and Liberal both struggle to attract paying members and donors as voters lose faith in politics and politicians. All public funding does is falsely perpetuate political parties which do not meet voters’ needs.
“Should taxpayers have to fund parties which have failed to relate to voters?
“Does anyone believe they deserve it?”
Ms Johnston said that she receives an adequate salary and allowances already, and will continue to fund her election campaigns from her own savings. She does not accept donations of any amount from any individual or entity. If this legislation is passed and she becomes eligible for taxpayer funding, she will apply it directly to community projects, programs and activities, and not to campaign or administrative purposes.
Ms Johnston has made a submission to the Government on the Electoral Disclosure and Funding Bill 2021 and Electoral Matters (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2021 outlining her concerns in more detail.