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We’re not broke, Liberal Party insists

Politics

The Liberal Party has rejected claims it is broke, as it was reported Malcolm Turnbull donated $1 million from his own pocket to fund the election campaign.

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The party’s defence came as senior Coalition MPs promised superannuation policy changes would be properly scrutinised before being put to parliament.

While he declined to confirm Turnbull’s donation, Liberal federal director Tony Nutt said his party disclosed all donations in line with electoral laws.

Nutt said the claim in The Australian that the Liberal party was “either in debt or broke” was false.

“The party’s finances are soundly managed by federal treasurer Andrew Burnes,” he said.

The funds given in the second half of the eight-week campaign reportedly went to the general pool of money spent on television advertising, direct mail-outs and polling.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese was envious.

“I wish we had someone who had a lazy $1 million sitting in the corner that could just plonk into the campaign,” he told the Nine Network today.

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said it was time electoral laws were changed to “stop rich individuals buying their way into power”.

Senator Rhiannon said such donations should be disclosed in real time.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said he expected all such donations would be disclosed, as they had been in the past.

Senator Cormann also defended the Government’s decision to wind back high-end superannuation concessions, as conservative colleagues said the $500,000 cap on non-concessional contributions backdated to 2007 had cost votes.

“These tax concessions were never designed to help facilitate tax-effective wealth accumulation or intergenerational wealth transfer,” he told Sky News.

However, he acknowledged the changes would go to a Senate committee for scrutiny in the same way as other bills.

There is also a push for Monday’s party room meeting to agree to a special coalition backbench committee to examine the budget measures.

Liberal frontbencher Dan Tehan talked down expectations of any major changes.

“What we need to do is to ensure we aren’t accused of saying one thing before an election and doing one thing after an election,” Tehan told ABC radio.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week insisted the superannuation changes would be presented to parliament as outlined in the May budget.

Meanwhile, the Coalition appeared on track to hold 77 seats in the new parliament with Ewen Jones 44 votes ahead of his Labor rival in the final seat of Herbert.

Turnbull’s new ministry will be announced on Monday and sworn in on Tuesday.

-AAP

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