Insurance companies which stood to gain from the privatisation of ACC could have made donations to National’s election campaign and no one would ever know, Labour MP David Parker said in Parliament today.
Mr Parker did not say the insurance companies had donated, his point was that because most donations don’t have to be disclosed it wasn’t possible to know one way or the other.
Except he is wrong. Donations over $10,000 do have to be declared. This represents around 0.2% of total election spending by a party.
He was speaking during the first reading debate on the Electoral (Administration) Bill, which puts the agencies responsible for running elections under a single authority.
I hope he spent some time talking about the actual bill, rather than on matters not covered in the bill.
Mr Parker said Labour and National both spent $2.2 million on their campaigns during last year’s election.
Labour disclosed the source of donations worth a total $422,000 and National $130,000.
The level at which donations have to be disclosed is $10,000. Any donations below that remain anonymous.
No they are not anonymous – they are not disclosed. There is a significant difference.
Mr Parker argued the threshold should be $1000.
“Before the election, Merrill Lynch said if ACC was privatised…there would be $2 billion of ACC levies up for grabs and $200 million of additional profit could be earned by Australian insurers,” he said.
Hmmn so in this fantasy world, the insurers will gain $200 million of profits for a less than $10,000 donation. Sure.
If Mr Parker thinks donations buy policies, may be he could explain the $100,000 Labour got from the Vela family a few days before the election.
“We all know that the private insurers stand to gain from the privatisation of ACC. There’s no doubt about that. But what we don’t know is whether those same private insurers were contributing to the National Party.
Yes you do. You know they did not donate more than $10,000.
“I can never prove that they were, but it is wrong for our democracy to be tainted by that accusation.
This is so funny. He invents the smear, and then says it is wrong for the smear to exist.
Mr Parker said the lack of transparency around donations was “a glaring problem” in the electoral system.
In case anyone has forgotten, the laws around donations are exactly those passed by Labour just two years ago.