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Charities Tax Review Ducks Point

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Government's discussion document on charities and taxes appears to duck the main point.

"While the document's focus on this historical status of charities is interesting, it is not a sound basis for the formation of future policy."

"Nor is it sufficient to focus on the way charities are operating now, as opposed to previously."

"The real issue that ought to be addressed is what is the role of charities in ongoing social services and educational provision, and whether charities are better placed than official government structures to provide a greater contribution to the provision of these services in the future."

"Once that point is resolved, the wider issue of the tax and income status of charities can be addressed, but unfortunately, the discussion paper is silent on that score," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says United Future strongly believes that there should be a greater role for charities in the provision and delivery of social services because charities and voluntary agencies are often better placed to provide these services more efficiently and compassionately than official bodies.

"Existing tax neutrality is an important component of that equation."

"It would be foolish to implement a new tax regime for charities if the consequence is that the social services and educational provision roles of charitable organisations are diminished."

"The additional revenue gained could easily be swallowed up by the consequential increase in public expenditure required to pick up the slack," Mr Dunne says.


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