The Coalition continues to be bankrolled by Big Tobacco, taking another $93,000 in the past financial year, official donation figures today revealed.
During the 2013 election campaign, Mr Abbott announced his party would no longer accept donations from tobacco companies.
"I’ve instructed the Liberal Party to accept no further donations from tobacco companies.”
Tony Abbott, Sydney, 21 August 2013
Despite this, today’s figures confirm the Liberals accepted $70,000 in donations from Philip Morris in the 2013/14 financial year, and the Nationals a further $23,300.
The donations include $4,000 to the Victorian Liberal Party two days after Mr Abbott announced his”ban”.
Clearly, Mr Abbott’s promises on tobacco donations were as trustworthy as his other election promises of “no cuts to health” and “no new taxes”.
These donations come in addition to $107,000 the Coalition accepted from Big Tobacco in the previous year, and around $3 million in donations since 1999.
By contrast, Labor has not accepted donations from tobacco companies for over a decade.
Each year more than 15,000 Australians die from smoking. Smoking represents the largest preventable cause of disease and death in Australia.
There can be no clearer example of the difference in how the major parties treat health policy. Labor introduced plain packaging laws while the Coalition continues to be bankrolled by Big Tobacco.
It’s simply not credible for any political to seriously tackle smoking-related disease when the people getting rich off the problem are filling its coffers.