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Why were charities forgotten in the Budget?

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Copeland: Why were charities forgotten in the Budget?

New Zealand charities have expressed deep disappointment that they received no mention whatever in this year's Budget, according to United Future's revenue spokesperson Gordon Copeland.

"The Charities Act established the Charities Commission with effect from 1 July 2005 and was signed into law prior to Christmas," said Mr Copeland.

"Finance Minister Dr Michael Cullen had made it clear that once the Commission was established he was prepared to raise the tax rebate level for donations to charity, and that was specifically mentioned by the select committee when the bill was reported back to the House.

"In addition United Future made a Budget bid to the Minister asking that the tax rebate level for gifts to charities be increased from the current stingy $630 per annum to $5,000 per annum with a comparable increase for company donations.

"We also asked that dividend imputation tax credits be extended to charities "as soon as the Charities Commission is established".

"I was both surprised and disappointed therefore to see the subject completely overlooked on Budget Day.

"Charities (including the Inter-Church Working Party representing the NZ churches) somewhat reluctantly went along with the establishment of the Charities Commission on the clear understanding that these issues would be addressed and they feel badly let down over this whole matter.

"They wonder whether the Minister simply forgot about them? In any event it would appear that, in spite of protestations to the contrary, charities really don't rate with this government."


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