Federal Liberal Senator for Queensland James McGrath says activist group GetUp! is a political pyramid scheme that takes money from people who are interested in politics to campaign against conservative members of parliament.
Mr McGrath said GetUp! were “the biggest bunch of hypocrites” and the “most opaque organisation around” for attacking companies over their management of tax affairs while taking advantage of similar rulings that the tax office would give.
“This is GetUp! who, for all intents and purposes, is a campaigning wing of the Labor Party and the Greens,” he said.
“They are a political pyramid scheme that takes money from people who are interested in politics – because they think GetUp! are bipartisan – and campaign against conservative members of parliament.
“Finally, people are seeing the truth about GetUp! – that they’re not an issues-based organisation.”
Mr McGrath said former opposition leader Bill Shorten sat on their board, putting money from his union into the group.
“They exist for one reason and that is to stop the Liberal-National Party from winning elections. So, people are finally seeing through the fog and the mist that is GetUp!” he said.
Get Up! avoided paying $357,000 in tax to the Australian Tax Office in the last financial year while its executive pay rose by 16 per cent.
The activist group received a private ruling from the ATO which saw its tax bill reduced to zero.