News National Taxpayers help foot the bill for federal election campaigns
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Taxpayers help foot the bill for federal election campaigns

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on the campaign trail in Tasmania. Photo: AAP
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Scott Morrison’s upset election cost the Liberal Party at least $27 million according to electoral authorities and now taxpayers will refund the party the same cash amount.

The Australian Electoral Commission has now finalised $69 million in election funding payments to political parties and candidates for the 2019 federal election.

It reveals Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party will also secure a $2.84 million payday, but like the Liberal Party she’s had to prove her campaign spent that amount to get the cash.

Once upon a time, political parties were awarded public funding based simply on how many voters they got, leaving the door open to claims of profiteering.

But under the new rules, candidates that secure 4 per cent of the formal first preference vote at the May 18 election received an automatic payment of election funding of $10,080.

To receive election funding greater than the automatic payment, they need to prove how much they spent and how many votes they got. The money is then awarded based on a combination of both factors.

That arrangement has left the Labor Party in the red despite securing $24.6 million, because they budgeted in a higher primary vote.

Billionaire Clive Palmer, who has previously told The New Daily that he spent around $70 million – more than the Liberal Party and Labor Party combined – secured a poor return on his investment because he secured fewer votes.

Mr Palmer’s party will secure a refund of just $650,0000.

Jacqui Lambie, who funded her own campaign partly from appearing on reality TV programs, spent $54,0000 to get elected and will be refunded the same amount.

Independent candidate Zali Steggall will secure $110,000 after her cashed-up campaign to kick former prime minister Tony Abbott out of Parliament.