Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Charities political role vital for democracy

16 October 2006

Charities political role vital for healthy democracy

The Government should re-think the moves it has set in train to strip charities of their tax exempt status from February 2007 if they become too active in political advocacy, Green Party Social Development Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"The Government is trying to force charities into a 19th century mould of voluntary work. Caring for the victims is essential work. But so is speaking out on their behalf, and highlighting the conditions that have helped create their situation.

"The Green Party voted against the Charities Commission Bill. It should not be up to the members of this Government appointed panel to decree when a charity has stepped over the line in criticising Government policy, and then punish them financially for doing so.

"Charities have always had a political dimension..That includes the Christian churches as well, who have had a call to political activism ever since their founder threw the money lenders out of the Temple.

"What this measure is saying is that charities should be primarily passive - an ambulance at the foot of the cliff, and only rarely a voice for building a fence at the top..

"Clearly, the Government is trying to foster a climate of self-intimidation, whereby charities will be made too timid to speak out, lest they suffer the financial consequences. This could end up robbing some of the most vulnerable people in society of what will often be their only champion.

"Organisations should be assessed for what they are, not the actions they sometimes pursue. A charity is a non-profit body formed for a stated purpose. This can include advocacy which - at some times, such as when the Anglican Church supported the hikoi of hope - will have a highly visible political dimension..

"The Anglicans are, after all, sometimes called the Tory Party at prayer. Should the Anglicans too, now be feeling under threat of losing their tax exempt status ? Or - more likely - would the Charity Commission be more inclined to pick on smaller, more vulnerable charities for selective punishment?

"In a democracy, the Government should not be in the business of selecting who can, and can't financially afford to criticise it. Charities assist in many ways, and they routinely temper the mistakes made by politicians and bureaucrats. The Government should be in the business of encouraging such generosity, not trying to muzzle its expression."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Criminalising Of Rap Music


For black youth in America, there can be only three ways out of the ghetto: athletics, music or drug dealing. And for every individual who succeeds in making it out, dozens more attach themselves to their celebrity crews in order to bask in the reflected glory, and partake of the lifestyle. And what rap musician can afford to turn their back entirely on the ‘hood, when staying street and staying real is what their audience demands of them..?
More>>



 
 

Government: New Zealand To Stay At Orange For Now
With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>

Australian Election: Prime Minister Congratulates Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on winning the Australian Federal election, and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison... More>>

Government: Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal
Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said... More>>


Government: Independent Panel Appointed To Review Electoral Law
Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts... More>>


Trade: Prime Minister To Visit United States
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a trade mission to the United States this week as part of the Government’s reconnection strategy to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19... More>>


National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels