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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr HAROLD HOLT -The Government gave careful consideration to this matter. It will be recalled that the initial appeal carried with it, as a result of the decision of the Government and for a specified period, the right to claim donations as taxation deductions. In the case of the subsequent appeal that decision was not continued, it being pointed out that there are many worthy charitable causes both inside and outside Australia which do not carry-

Mr Reynolds - Is this appeal less worthy?

Mr HAROLD HOLT - This appeal is not regarded as less worthy. The point is that there are many worthy causes inside and outside Australia which do not carry the entitlement by law to claim donations as taxation deductions. It is the practice of the Government periodically, in its Budget reviews, to examine requests for the allowance of deductions and to see which, if any, causes should be added to the list. The honorable gentleman has mentioned the additional amounts being spent by the Government for war purposes. I point out that the Government has accepted an increasing scale of international aid commitments, including the supply of foodstuffs. An example was the gift of a substantial quantity of wheat to India during the year. The Minister for External Affairs has just announced our decision to contribute 85 million dollars to the funds of the Asian Development Bank. In these and other ways, we are materially assisting people out of the resources of the Australian taxpayers. It is they who ultimately meet the cost of allowing as tax deductions donations to charitable organisations. So I believe that when these matters are seen in their full perspective it will be considered that, ranking as we do among the first three or four nations in terms of external aid contributions per capita, we have a record of which we need not be ashamed.

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