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Institute applauds charitable tax review

The changes to the tax rules on charitable giving, announced in last Thursday's Budget, will help build a stronger culture of giving in this country, said David Wilson, Director of AUT University's Institute of Public Policy.

The removal of the tax rebate thresholds for charitable giving, plus other measures being examined, are a big step in the right direction, says Mr Wilson. It will make it easier and more financially rewarding for individuals and companies to give their time and money to charitable causes.

"It's not just a case of rewarding charity it is more a case of recognising it," he says.

"As Peter Dunne said, New Zealanders are generous people. Roughly one third of us take part in voluntary activities and collectively we give in excess of $1 million a day to charities and other non-profit organisations."

Mr Wilson says moves like these, which reward and encourage that activity, are good for all of us.

"Yes, it will cost the government some foregone tax revenue, but it will generate many times that amount of money in charitable support," he says. "And that's sound social investment."

Mr Wilson believes this sends the right signals to business and individuals, and shows maturity in recognising that government alone cannot solve all our social issues.

"I believe that a culture of community investment needs to be built from this platform. This means we must be working towards more meaningful partnerships between business and community organisations, where we can bring combined resources to bear on some of the more gritty and persistent social problems that we face as a nation."

ENDS

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