More than two dozen states and territories have introduced new laws to restrict the use of the tax to pay for their political parties, with a further six states set to introduce bills later this year.
The states and Territories are the first to introduce limits on the use or use by political parties of the GST, which is used to fund a range of public services, including health, education and public transport.
The federal government is likely to introduce a range other laws in the next few weeks, including restrictions on the tax-free use of state and territory government websites.
The states have already introduced restrictions on political parties’ use of taxpayer-funded public services to pay the salaries of their MPs.
Under a law introduced in March, political parties must not spend more than $1,000 on political advertising in the state, a requirement that has seen them spend nearly $2 million.
They can spend more on other political advertising, including $5,000 for a political advertisement and $10,000 to advertise in an election.
In the last election, the Federal Government spent $3.1 million in taxpayer-sponsored advertising on the campaign trail, according to data released by the ABC.
The rules have also led to the closure of at least two local political parties in Queensland.
“We’re not going to be able to continue to operate without the GST and without the revenue from the GST,” Mr Shorten said on Sunday.
Labor has also introduced a number of bills to limit the use and use by the parties of taxpayer funded public services.
It is understood the ALP is also likely to reintroduce restrictions on party political spending to pay its MPs, as it does in the Northern Territory.
The laws also apply to political parties that receive government funding from other states or territories, including the Northern and Western Australian governments.
The GST has been a thorny issue in the federal election campaign, with the ALP, which has a strong majority, arguing it unfairly targets the wealthy, while the Greens argue the levy is an important economic stimulus.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has promised to introduce measures to make the tax revenue more transparent, and to stop the use by parties of tax-funded political advertising to pay their MPs, and a number will also be introduced in the weeks ahead.
“We will be bringing down the GST on big business and big business will be supporting the Coalition,” he said.
While the GST has enjoyed widespread support, the ALP has been criticised for the amount of taxpayer money spent by its political parties on their campaigns.
Liberal Party leader Tim Nicholls has repeatedly called for a full audit of all political parties.
“I am calling on Labor to investigate the spending by the Liberal Party on its campaigns,” he told Sky News.
“That’s the money that’s going into their coffers, not into the Labor Party.”
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