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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 111

Senator FIELDING (Leader of the Family First Party) (6:06 PM) —This is all a bit strange, isn’t it? Here we are, talking about treating political parties like charities. Giving a tax break for donations to political parties is a rort. Two-and-a-half years ago Family First moved an amendment in the Senate to abolish tax deductibility status for political parties and here we are today—we have Labor saying, ‘We don’t like tax deductibility for individuals but we do want it for our unions.’ You cannot have it both ways. At least the Liberals are consistent on this one. I do not know where the Greens are coming from, but, frankly, treating political parties like charities is an insult to charities. Giving a tax break for donations to political parties is just outrageous when you think about it. So, no, we do not support this amendment. It is sending all the wrong signals to Australians—that you can get a tax break by donating to political parties. It is treating us politicians like charities, and we are not charities. Political parties are self-interested and they should not be treated like charities. So Family First will not be supporting these amendments.

The CHAIRMAN —The question is that Australian Greens amendments (2) to (6), (8) and (10) to (20) on sheet 5633 revised, as moved by Senator Ludlam, be agreed to.