Labor not giving staffing funds to Greens

LABOR has ruled out handing over any money to the Greens to hire extra staff, after the Liberals told the two parties to work it out between themselves.

Allocation of resources to non- government members is up to the incoming Liberal government, but the Premier's chief of staff, Brad Stansfield, yesterday wrote to Mr Booth to advise him there would be no extra money allocated to the parties beyond the $800,000 already given to Labor.

In the letter, seen by The Examiner, Mr Stansfield said the figure was the same amount of money awarded to the Liberals during their stint in opposition.

"Notwithstanding this, I note that the Labor Party has seven members in the new Parliament compared to the 10 members the Liberals had in the last Parliament," Mr Stansfield wrote.

"Should the Greens and Labor come to an agreement whereby some of the $800,000 allocated for the non-government members be allocated to the three Green members, the government would be pleased to consider it."

New Greens leader Kim Booth described the Liberals' suggestion as "notionally insane".

"Why on earth should the other opposition party be responsible to ensure the Greens are funded in order to work on behalf of the 47,000 Tasmanians who voted for us, any more than it be up to us to fund them?" Mr Booth said.

A Labor spokesman said it was the government's responsibility to provide funding.

"Labor has negotiated its allocation with the government and has no role in negotiating with or on behalf of the Greens," the spokesman said.

It is a blow to the Greens, who will most likely be forced to scrap key positions including chief of staff and media adviser.

Each of the three MHAs will only be entitled to an electorate officer.

Outgoing Greens leader Nick McKim had requested they be given their "fair share" of taxpayer funding, recognising their numbers had been reduced from five to three at last month's election.

Mr McKim had proposed the minor party be given three fifths of the funding for staff and equipment that they received in the last term of government.

An opposition spokesman said it was the government's responsibility to provide funding.

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