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PM Confirms Taxes On Charities Likely

The Prime Minister has today confirmed that the Government will consider increasing the taxes on churches and charities.

Just two weeks ago the Prime Minister denied the Government was considering any changes. But questioned in Parliament as to why she made that denial, Helen Clark acknowledged that this proposal was not just 'a rumour', but was in fact a serious proposition which the Government is considering.

"Helen Clark and Steve Maharey, who have both up to now denied the Government had plans for taxing churches and charities, have now admitted they plan to do so," Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"The Prime Minister today clearly indicated she supports changing the definition of charities.

"Charities must make submissions to the Government stating their concerns. They now have until the end of August to do so.

"National strongly opposes any proposal that will make the work of charities harder, not easier.

"We are shocked that the Government's proposals would increase the burden on charities. For example, if they introduce fringe benefit taxes the Spirit of New Zealand charity in Auckland would have to raise an additional $20,000 just to stay in the same position.

"The Government's proposal is wrong and it will impose unnecessary hardship on already stretched charitable organisations," Jenny Shipley said.

Ends


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