Sunday, August 15, 2010

Parties exploit loophole with late launches

Have you been wondering why political parties have their official campaign launch when the election campaign is nearly over. The Coalition campaign was at the start of the week and Labor's is tomorrow. Here's why:

'...a loophole in Department of Finance policy means the sizeable daily travel allowances for politicians and staffers are paid out of the public purse until the day of the respective political parties' campaign launch.

'The Liberal Party and the Nationals have been carrying their own costs for a week and will ultimately be financially responsible for nine days of the 33-day campaign.

'However, the ALP will continue to have public funding until the conclusion of tomorrow's ''official'' campaign launch in Brisbane, leaving Labor with just five days to pay for.' (SMH)

This is in addition to the $2.31 all candidates receive retrospectively if they achieve at least 4 per cent of the vote. The total campaign cost for the taxpayer is expected to exceed the 2007 record of $163 million. Not bad for five weeks of risk aversion...

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