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Charities Package Looks Like Sensible Compromise

16 October 2001

Charities Package Looks Like Sensible Compromise

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Government's decision on the taxation of charities looks like a sensible compromise.

United Future had previously strongly criticised any moves to tighten the taxation status of charities, saying it would simply force much of the work carried out by charities into the government sector, and thus increase costs to the taxpayer.

"Today's decisions appear to have pulled back from the brink of the original discussion document, and will therefore leave charities breathing a sigh of relief."

"In essence, though, the Government has, as I have predicted all along, ended up back where the Russell Committee left matters in the late 1980s - with the real issue of what constitutes legitimate charitable works yet to be defined."

"The fact that the Government appears to have dropped its original plans to adopt new definitions is a great step forward, and the proposed new registration scheme for charities may help resolve some of the remaining grey areas, " Mr Dunne says.

However, Mr Dunne points out that charities are not out of the fire yet.

"The Government's plans to introduce a new tax on gaming machines has a huge potential to gut completely the activities of many charitable and voluntary community agencies."

"We must now concentrate all our efforts on ensuring that common-sense prevails in this area as well, and that today's moves on charities do not become just a phyrric victory for the charitable and voluntary sector, with the gains being outweighed by losses elsewhere."

"United Future will be continuing its advocacy for charities and voluntary agencies to be able to carry on their good works, unimpeded by the heavy hand of central government," Mr Dunne says.

Ends

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