It pays to be elected
NEW FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS TO LIMIT THE POWER OF POLITICAL DONATIONS
Candidates for the district of Shepparton are set for a pay-day now the votes have been finalised with the Victorian Electoral Commission to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to five of the six contenders.
Each candidate who polled more than four per cent will receive $1.75 for every first preference vote they received.
Murray Willaton, who never made an appearance, stands to deliver $5799.50 to his Shooters, Fishers & Farmers party while Suzanna Sheed who received the most first preference votes will get $27 739.25.
Nickee Freeman who failed to break the four per cent threshold receives nothing.
The money is intended to compensate for the cost of campaigning and blunt the power of donations to influence independents and political parties.
It is paid to the respective candidates’ political party, or the candidate themselves if they are independent.
Under legislation passed earlier this year, the amounts will more than triple to $6 per vote at the next Victorian state election.
The Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 also contains new funding to contribute to the running of a member of parliament’s office.
Independents and parties with only one member in parliament will receive $200 000 per year in ‘administrative’ funding that is restricted in its use and cannot be put towards campaigning, unlike the VEC’s public funding payments which are intended for campaigning.
Parties receive $200 000 for the first member of parliament, $70 000 for the second and $35 000 for each subsequent member to a maximum of 45.
The new funding arrangements, passed in July this year, are part of a suite of measures designed to limit the power of political donations and bring more transparency to the donations system.
The total cost of the changes to tax payers is estimated at $45 million per year.
Changed conditions: Under new rules, lower house candidates will earn $6 per first preference vote they receive at the 2022 Victorian state election, up from $1.75 per vote at the recent election.