A plan to publicly fund political parties has been pushed back by two years, saving the taxpayer some serious cash.
A plan to publicly fund political parties has been pushed back by two years, saving the taxpayer some serious cash.

Taxpayer win: Party funding plan pushed back

TAXPAYERS will save some cash after a plan to publicly fund political parties was pushed back by two years.

Political parties, unions and other advocate groups will be limited on what they can spend on electioneering in the October state poll under legislation expected to pass today.

Parties were set to benefit from an increase in public funding to compensate for the changes, with an extra $23 million spent on election funding and "policy development" payments as donation caps were put in place.

But those donation caps and public payments - that would see funding per vote nearly doubled from current levels - will now not begin until July 2022.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said it was "unreasonable" for the new political finance model to begin in the middle of the COVID-19 economic downturn.

"Deferring the commencement of the donations caps, and the accompanying change to public financing, will allow the Palaszczuk Government to prioritise resources as we focus on getting Queensland back on its feet," she said.

Attorney-General Yvette D'ath. Picture: Liam Kidston
Attorney-General Yvette D'ath. Picture: Liam Kidston

Electoral expenditure spending caps beginning in August will only allow parties to spend $92,000 for every endorsed candidate - or a maximum of about $8.55 million if they run in every electorate.

Registered third parties, which includes unions, would not be able to spend more than $87,000 per electorate or byelection and no more than $1 million statewide.

The Opposition have complained the changes favour Labor and the unions, but Labor says they will mean no one can buy an election.

They will mean political forces like Clive Palmer won't be able to spend as much as previous polls, although a spokesman for Mr Palmer said he was not concerned by the laws.

The legislation also includes integrity provisions drawn up following Jackie Trad's Woolloongabba house saga that will make it an offence for ministers to intentionally fail to comply with their obligations to update their register of interests.

Both new offences will attract a maximum penalty of two years' jail.

Originally published as Taxpayer win: Party funding plan pushed back


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