Do political donations affect the amount of tax the government makes you pay?

Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie, has renewed her call for an independent investigation into the source and integrity of Australian political party donations, following her research that showed, of the 579 large Australian companies who didn’t pay tax in 2013-14, at least 15 businesses, over the same reporting period, donated a total of $1,273,939 to the Liberal, National, Labor and Green parties.

“A donation to a major political party should never be viewed by the general public - as a tax minimisation strategy for big business,” Senator Lambie said.

“This latest information, released by Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan, which reveals the names of the big Australian companies that don’t pay tax - combined with my research on political donations, only boosts my long-standing call for an independent investigation into the source and integrity of Australian political party donations,” Senator Lambie said.

“This month (about 20 days before Christmas) Liberal Treasurer Scott Morrison delivered a Mid-Year Economic Forecast and Outlook (MYEFO) that – if the Senate allows him, will cut $3.7B from health, welfare, and aged care. Almost at the same time, Australia’s top tax man, Commissioner Chris Jordan, revealed a list of 579 of our biggest companies that managed to pay absolutely no tax at all during 2013-14.

So in order to repair Australia’s budget, it looks like Liberals have chosen to continue with Joe Hockey’s not so clever financial plan, and take money away from our sick, elderly and unemployed, while their big business mates pay no tax. Of course, Mr Morrison and Mr Turnbull will complain very loudly – and blame the chaotic crossbench senators when the Liberals’ so-called reforms are blocked in our Upper House,” Senator Lambie said.

“However, before we waste the Senate’s time with more legislation that rips money away from the sick, elderly and poor – why won’t the Liberals, indeed all of Australia’s major political parties, support legislation and budget measures that force our big businesses to pay a fairer share of tax… or, at least, some tax.

In pondering that question – I asked my office to conduct further research on the 579 companies who paid no tax for 2013-14 – and found out how much they gave in political donations for 2013-14. The Australian Electoral Commission’s records show at least 15 companies donated to the Liberal, Labor and National parties a total of $1,273,939. Those political donations ranged from a low of $15,000 to $263,000 (Tot: LIB= $1.034M, ALP=$187K, NAT=$27K, GRN=$25K).

Perhaps if we wanted true electoral, budget and taxation reform, (apart from introducing a Financial Transactions Tax or FTT  the government might like to introduce legislation, which bans companies who don’t pay tax, from making political donations?” said Senator Lambie.