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Tax deductibility of donations to charities

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16 August, 1973.

Charitable organisations throughout Australia are finding

it most difficult to plan their future services because of the

uncertainty created by the Prime Minister's recent comment that

tax deductibility of donations may be eliminated.

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Obviously, if donations are no longer allowed as a tax

deduction, the amounts given to charitable organisations will


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Even if people and companies put aside the same amounts foy ^ J

donations each year as they have in the past, up to half of suchf^/p)

amounts will be taken by tax, and the charities, will get less. Lr-u-J

In most cases, this loss of revenue will have most serious

consequences. The disabled and under-privileged will suffer.

For example, the Yooralla group of schools for physically

handicapped children in Victoria depends upon donations to

cover about 60 percent of its total expenditure each year.

Yooralla is among organisations which are also committed

to long term pLaris extending their activities to meet urgent

needs and future commitments have been made on the basis of

predicted revenues.

The loose statement by the Prime Minister that tax

deductibility may be removed, without giving any indication as

to what other sources of revenue may be forthcoming, places

many of these projects in jeopardy.

There are many charities which find themselves in this

type of dilemma because of the Prime Minister's 'off the cuff'

comment at the Labor Party Conference.

I ask the Prime Minister or the Minister for Social Security

to state clearly what action, if any, is intended in this area

so that the present uncertainty is resolved.

The Liberal Party supports tax deductibility of donations to


2 .

If the Government was merely saying that the list of

charitable, educational and patriotic organisations to which

tax deductibility applies needs examination in the light of

today's changed conditions, that would be understandable.

But to take a casual decision that will cause all organisations

to suffer because a small minority no longer carry out their

original activities, is unreasonable.

The correct approach would be to maintain the deductibility

while such an examination is carried out, and I urge the

Government to follow this line of action.

I remind the Prime Minister that in the ultimate, it is

the hundreds of disabled and under-privileged who will suffer

through his unthinking comment.

These people's interests must always be of paramount

importance in any decision made.