Senate inquiry calls for political donations ban

Major political parties oppose a Greens report that suggests an overhaul of donation rules.

A senate inquiry has criticised Australia’s donations and disclosure scheme after a report suggests that there should be sweeping changes to donation laws.

A Greens-initiated parliamentary select committee released the report on Wednesday that looked into the donations regime and its impact on parliamentary elections. The report made 14 recommendations for reform, including a cap on gifts to parties.

Greens leader and committee chair, Richard Di Natale, said the report threw open a curtain on the underbelly of influence peddling in Canberra.

“Sadly this report shows that cash is still king in Australian politics, with big businesses happy to throw millions of dollars at political leaders to buy influence.”

The report recommends introducing a cap on campaign spending and real-time disclosure of donations, which would limit donations to $3,000 per donor.  This would mean a small rise in taxpayer funds to political parties to offset the proposed cap.

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