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Peter Costello

Treasurer

11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Transcript of 10/12/99

 

Transcript No. 99/98

TRANSCRIPT OF
The Hon Peter Costello MP
TREASURER

Doorstop
Liberal Party Federal Secretariat
Barton
9.35 am
Friday, 10 December 1999

SUBJECTS: GST & Charities

JOURNALIST:

Not all the charities are happy with the deal that you’ve done with the GST?

TREASURER:

Well, we’ve got a consultative committee and the Charities Consultative Committee has put all of these matters up and they’ve all been accepted and agreed, which is a great deal for charities.

JOURNALIST:

Is there still some more fine tuning on the GST?

TREASURER:

Look, the implementation will go ahead up until July of next year and, you know, business will have to make sure that they’ve got their systems in place. But 150 countries in the world have managed to put in place a GST and I’m sure Australia can be one of those as well.

JOURNALIST:

The Cancer Council cites the example of Daffodil Day paying 10 per cent on the money they raise - $600,000 across the nation. Wouldn’t that money be better spent on cancer research?

TREASURER:

Well, all charitable activities are GST-free. It’s up to charities whether or not they want to put their commercial operations in separate fundraising arms. Charities have asked for and received all of the measures that they want and you can’t do much better than that, can you? Because we had a Consultative Committee, the Consultative Committee drew up the list of things that they thought the charitable sector needed, and they’ve nearly all been agreed. A couple couldn’t be agreed for technical reasons but that list has been implemented in full. So, work will continue in that Committee and as other issues arise from time to time they’ll be worked through. But this is a great thing for the charities. Great example of where they work positively and cooperatively. And they’ve managed to actually get the rulings which will help them.

JOURNALIST:

But if turnover is over $100,000 a year they will be paying the tax.

TREASURER:

No, no they don’t. Only if you go into commercial activity. Only if you go into commercial activity can you come into the system. Charitable activities are GST-free. And if I can say this, 150 countries in the world, and I don’t think there’s one of them that has as favourable treatment for charities. So this is in world terms, the best indirect tax treatment for charities. And that’s come about because we’ve worked through the issues with the charities and it’s been very productive and very constructive. And if there’s a requirement to work through further issues, we keep doing it and making sure the rulings are okay. Thanks.