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Copeland: ‘Stingy’ Govt hamstrings charities


Thursday, 13 May 2004

Copeland: ‘Stingy’ Govt hamstrings charities

The Government’s “unbelievably stingy” tax policies on charitable donations are a huge obstacle to CYFS contracting out family intervention work to community organisations as recommended in the Brown Report three years ago, United Future’s Gordon Copeland said today.

Former youth court chief judge Mick Brown’s report recommended that CYFS contract out to community organisations all tasks other than those related to the immediate safety and security of the children – a move that would be backed by United Future, Mr Copeland, the party’s revenue spokesman, said.

“And our policy is unlimited tax deductibility for donations to recognised charities.

“The present position is unbelievably stingy. A couple of years ago an expatriate Kiwi living in New York donated $1 million to a New Zealand-based charity and wrote off the entire amount off against his US tax bill.

“Had he made the same gift as a New Zealand resident, he would have been able to claim the princely sum of $1890 and receive a tax rebate of $630,” Mr Copeland said.

“Is it any wonder that our charitable and voluntary sector is run down when, unlike every other country of our type in the world, we have such draconian tax relief on donations?

“And if people think it doesn’t matter, they are wrong.

“The way to transform services to children, youth and families is via the voluntary and charitable sector. CYFS is not doing the job and cannot do it. Mick Brown was dead right.

“Imagine the difference if organisations such as Barnardos, Presbyterian Support Services, the Salvation Army, Open Home, etc., were there to help when families needed it, rather than the heavy hand of CYFS.

“A government bureaucracy, no matter how well intentioned, will always struggle to deliver at that level. The charitable sector can and will deliver for our families.

“And they would save the tax payer great dollops of money in the process.

“It’s time the Government gave a strong lead by allowing unlimited tax deductibility for donations, and kissed the outmoded failure Nanny State model goodbye,” Mr Copeland said.

Ends.

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