MEDIA RELEASE: Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA) condemns Victorian Labor party’s $380,000+ taxpayer rort, calls for Victorian spending transparency portal

The ATA, a 50,000+ member taxpayer advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today condemned the Victorian ALP’s misuse of at least $387,842 in taxpayer funds for campaigning purposes in the 2014 State election and called for real-time spending transparency portal to hold future politicians to account.

“It is shocking that hundreds of thousands in public funds earmarked for services in 21 Labor MPs’ electorates were instead funnelled into the ALP campaign machine, giving the current governing party an unfair advantage that cannot be undone by simply repaying the money now that the Victorian Ombudsman has caught them out.” Said Satyajeet Marar, Director of Policy at the ATA. “This is an unacceptable and duplicitous rort of funds meant for the service of constituents and does not pass the pub test.

“Future rorts like this are likely to keep happening while putting strain on our investigation agencies unless a real-time spending transparency portal for public monies is implemented. Australian taxpayers bear one of the highest tax burdens in the developed world and deserve to know how these funds are being spent or misspent. A public website listing all government spending over $250 with a receipt provided within 30 days of purchase, will promote accountability and transparency while ensuring that politicians are held to the same standards as our private sector.

“The Australian Taxpayers' Alliance has been campaigning for this important initiative on a nationwide scale since 2012 and we are pleased that prominent politicians including South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi, NSW Senator David Leyonjhelm, Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson, Liberal Queensland Senator James McGrath and ACT Opposition Leader Alistair Coe have all spoken out for this vital measure.

"Creating a centralised, accessible, easily-searchable transparency portal is a tried and tested best practice measure to empower taxpayers. Dozens of international jurisdictions have embraced these portals time and time again, and they have been proven to save money, cut waste, eliminate corruption and improve governance. This is not a question of right or left - it is a question of right and wrong: The only people who fear transparency and accountability are those who have something to hide.

“We call upon all sides of politics and all levels of government to embrace good governance by adopting a measure that will root out corruption, rorts and waste.”

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