Premier pays $380k for ‘likes’
A GEELONG man is leading a push to create a new federal political party.
Former economics professor Paul Ross is behind The Citizen’s Dividend Party, which is calling for a drastic overhaul of Australia’s welfare system.
Self described as a “one issue party”, its key policy is the introduction of a universal basic income, in which most Australian residents would be eligible to receive thousands of dollars in payouts, merely for being law-abiding citizens.
Mr Ross said the system would be largely propped up by consumption tax and that, under 2018 modelling, adults would be eligible to receive about $19,000 each per year. Parents would also be able to receive $5000 per child.
“The eligibility criteria is to vote at elections and don’t get incarcerated — and that’s it,” Mr Ross said.
“We’re all part of society … we go about our activities. In just the way we live our lives like that, we’re able to show that we’re responsible and we’re adding something to society; something quite apart from paid work, which I think is only a minor part of it.
“Many people, for example parents, are doing a lot for society in ways that aren’t reflected in their take-home pay.”
Mr Ross argued the proposal combined the “very best” of socialism and capitalism, claiming it would motivate people to “help themselves and their loved ones”.
“It gives a foundation for everyone in society and frees them up from the financial worries that often drive things like domestic violence and family breakdown,” he said.
Mr Ross has set an ambitious task of getting the party registered ahead of the next federal election. To do so, the party needs 500 members, but as of yesterday it only had 13.
Mr Ross acknowledged he has a “big challenge” ahead.
“At this point we just want to get registered,” he said. “We would just like to be a voice in the wilderness yelling out, and if someone hears us, that’s good — they can take the idea on board, or not.
“We just feel that the ideas we’re talking about are just not represented in any way, shape or form.”
For more about the party’s policies, visit citizens-dividend.org PREMIER Daniel Andrews has spent at least $380,000 of taxpayer money hunting for ‘ Likes’ for his Facebook page and on creating videos he starred in, that were shared on his social media platforms.
Since coming to power in 2014 Mr Andrews’ has billed the taxpayer at least $98,000 for marketing firms to create videos he appeared in.
The Premier also dipped into the public purse for other production costs — including music licence fees and car and equipment hire.
He has also spent at least $284,000 in just two years boosting his Facebook posts to push Labor’s message to the widest possible online audience.
The greatest video cost were the series of clips — most starring Mr Andrews — used to promote the state budgets.
The 2017-18 Budget series of videos cost $53,401 and included 15 videos shared via his Facebook page.
Taxpayers were also billed $687.50 for a “Facebook Live Q&A” with Mr Andrews and comedian Corinne Grant about that year’s Budget. Another $2,730 was spent for a boutique video production house to interview the Premier about how his father’s death shaped his views on voluntary assisted dying.
The $98,857 video production figure, released under a Freedom of Information request, does not include the costs of producing flashy videos showcasing Labor infrastructure projects.
The government said the majority of the spend was on producing videos to advertise the Victorian Budget, which was standard practice and not created just for the Premier’s social media pages.
PARTY PLAN: Geelong West man Paul Ross is attempting to start a new federal political party.