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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 109

Senator XENOPHON (5:57 PM) —I indicate my support for these amendments and reiterate my position: I supported the second reading of this bill on the basis that I could support these amendments of the Australian Greens. I think it is appropriate that there still be a tax deduction for donations made by individuals—not corporations—up to $1,500 for all the reasons I set out in my second reading contribution but principally because it allows individuals to be part of the political process and because to get rid of the tax deduction all together would, I think, unfairly disadvantage smaller parties and Independents. With respect to the Labor Party, I think that the government’s bill would also give an inherent advantage to the Labor Party, regarding contributions made by the union movement direct to the ALP, in the sense that there would still be tax deductibility for union contributions, which would indirectly find their way to the ALP. I think this approach of the Greens is an appropriate one. I do not think it is appropriate for corporations to obtain a deduction. I think this is an improvement on the status quo.