Labor Renews Call to Keep ACNC
Thursday, 21st August 2014 at 9:32 am
The Federal Opposition has again thrown its support behind the Australian charity regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, saying the watchdog is keeping an effective eye on charity activity around Australia.
The Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Andrew Leigh said the Coalition’s plan to abolish the ACNC has again been revealed as folly, following news the commission has revoked the charity status of more than 240 organisations and is moving towards de-registering over 3,500 more.
“The Coalition Government is trying to abolish the commission for ideological reasons. But these de-registrations prove that the regulator is keeping an effective eye on charity activity around Australia,” Leigh said.
The de-registered charities include religious organisations, trusts and foundations from every state and territory. The commission de-registered these groups after they failed to respond to multiple requests for up-to-date information about their activities and financial status.
Andrew Leigh said the loss of charity status meant that those organisations would no longer be eligible for generous tax concessions or deductible status for donations, if they were still operating.
“By de-registering Not for Profits which fail to meet their reporting requirements, the commission is ensuring that Australians can donate to other registered charities with confidence.
“Just as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission engenders confidence by corporate investors, so too a strong charities commission encourages Australians to donate to good causes.
“The government is attempting to abolish the charities commission and return some of its functions to the Australian Tax Office. But with that agency set to lose 3,000 workers by October this year, it is highly unlikely that its already-stretched staff will be able to provide the same level of oversight as the charities commission currently offers,” he said.
“With the government’s flimsy consultation process on replacement options for the commission closing today, it is time for Kevin Andrews to acknowledge that it is actually doing great work and drop his ill-advised plan to axe it.
“The Not for Profit sector has overwhelmingly indicated support for retaining the charities commission, with over 88 per cent of submissions to a recent Senate inquiry calling on the government not to scrap it.”