Abolish the Charities regulator

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28 Responses to Abolish the Charities regulator

  1. Rabz

    Andrews has made formal commitments to abolish the ACNC (to be replaced by a non-regulatory body), but apparently getting the legislation passed will be impossible until the new Senate is sworn in, so the ‘consultation’ with sector representatives will continue in the interim.

    It was always a terrible idea, but I’d have expected nothing less from our much missed former feral gubberment.

  2. Token

    Can’t wait to see the campaign to demonise the people pushing this change.

    Something along the lines of “Think of all the tax eaters who will lose their job, like those that ran the stellar the QLD Premiers Flood Appeal in 2012 “

  3. Econocrat

    This was pushed for about 10 years by some twit at Treasury. Total failure, like the Employee Share Schemes.

  4. C.L.

    Helen has lovely lips and a Georgia Jagger smile.

    Just chucking that in.

  5. C.L.

    Why are regulator and regulations or “oversight” needed at all?

    If charities break the law, prosecute. Otherwise leave them the hell alone.

  6. johanna

    Like unions, I think it is reasonable for large charities to be accountable for the funds that are voluntarily given to them – perhaps governance requirements similar to those being considered for unions are appropriate.

    There is a UK climate blog I frequent where a number of posters who have been giving to charities for years were disgusted to discover that funds were being used to promote climate change hysteria, provide handsome sinecures for climate “ambassadors” etc. This had nothing to do with the ostensible aim of the charity.

    Then there are the “charities” like Greenpeace, which are really just political organisations.

    Not to mention where funds donated for one purpose are converted to another, like what the Red Cross did with tsunami donations.

    I agree that the proposed regulator was a dog, but just like when people pay union dues, people who donate to charity have a reasonable expectation that their money will be used for the purpose it was given for, and publicly accounted for – especially given charities’ tax free status.

  7. Squirrel

    Rabz

    #1179760, posted on February 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Andrews has made formal commitments to abolish the ACNC (to be replaced by a non-regulatory body), but apparently getting the legislation passed will be impossible until the new Senate is sworn in, so the ‘consultation’ with sector representatives will continue in the interim.

    It was always a terrible idea, but I’d have expected nothing less from our much missed former feral gubberment.”

    Presumably this won’t mean just moving the functions into the Social Services Department, so that the same staff can then support, advise etc. the non-regulatory body. I am sure the hunt is on for savings, but I imagine there will be cases where departments will try to minimise the pain for themselves by heroically recommending to Ministers the abolition of smaller agencies within the portfolio – with at least some of the functions and resources then moved into the parent department (and with a convenient degree of woolliness about the resultant savings).

  8. Derp

    If a charity (or union) want to be tax exempt and accept funds from people, then they ought to be accountable and open their books.

  9. feelthebern

    Derp – spot on.
    Tax exemption is not a right.

  10. Snoopy

    Registration as a charity does not automatically confer income tax exemption or Deductible Gift Recipient (tax deductible) status. These are subject to additional application processes to the ATO. For charities operating overseas, DGR status requires prior approval from AusAid and is very difficult to obtain. Without these approvals a charity simply has the right to raise funds from the public.

    The ACNC duplicates the existing oversight of charities undertaken by departments of fair trading. Australian charities have to provide the state government under which they’re registered with annual returns including audited financial statements. Now the ACNC also requires annual returns. Despite the ACNC learning who the charities were from state departments of fair trading it is not content to get the annual returns from them. Charities have to make separate returns to the ACNC.

    Most charities are staffed by unpaid volunteers who don’t need more bureaucracy. The introduction of the ACNC was strongly supported by Tim Costello.

    In my opinion a major function of ACNC and AusAid is to maintain favoured status for the likes World Vision.

  11. Token

    Once big sprawling government is able to ruthlessly regulate charities, they will be able to harass them in the name of partisan politics…

    The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

    The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested.

    The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups

    How long before the follow the UN and dictate the acceptable stances on gay marriage, abortion, etc. and use the tactics the Obama admin has enacted?

  12. Baldrick

    Another level of unnecessary big government bureaucracy which needs to be scrapped, toot sweet!

  13. Empire Strikes Back

    people who donate to charity have a reasonable expectation that their money will be used for the purpose it was given for, and publicly accounted for – especially given charities’ tax free status.

    Read the financial statements. What is the cost ratio. Do they hide admin bloat under “fundraising” costs?Ask how much time and cash do they allocate to “advocacy” (if the answer is > 0, reject). Who audits them?

    Caveat emptor.

    I favour small local charities for this reason. One charity I helped establish 15 odd years ago has averaged a cost ratio of 3%. No paid staff, but we still manage to funnel $15K a year directly to kids who genuinely need (and appreciate) what it funds, in a tightly defined geographic area. That is only possible because we donate our time as well as our cash. For us, the ACNC is another bureaucratic fannoyance that someone has to sacrifice time with their own family to satisfy.

    In the age of entitlement and compassionate seeming, people seem to think that charitable works means taking one’s credit card out of one’s pocket and reciting the number to a professional fundraiser on the end of the dog’n'bone. A modern secular form of indulgences, if you like.

  14. Filbert

    CL she’s a very attractive young lady indeed…..delightful.

  15. Grumbles

    Charities are either tax exempt or tax deductible, but if you consider that all money donated is already taxed, it would be unfair if the government got a second bite.

  16. Habib

    Even better, abolish the tax-free status of charities, political parties, and advocacy groups, and end public funding. Make the bastards prove their worth to punters before they get a zac.

  17. Notafan

    On one of the commercial current affairs programmes they were harping on about Hillsong giving the impression the sole purpose of the regulator was to bring Hillsong to account.

  18. johanna

    The problem with State based regulation is that large organisations such as the Red Cross, World Vision etc operate on a national and often international basis. Money gets moved around all over the place. It is pointless to try to regulate them on a State basis – it would be like NSW Fair Trading trying to regulate Microsoft.

    Take the case of the Red Cross diverting funds donated for tsunami relief to other purposes. This happened via tens of thousands of donations from right across the country. It makes no sense to try to untangle that on a State by State basis.

    It seems far more sensible to use a national framework like the Corporations Law, just as it does for unions and for similar reasons.

  19. Dan

    If the government can regulate Tatts Group, such that it can only ‘keep’ 16% of money wagered, then they should hold charities and unions to the same regulation. Groups like the ACF spend more on wages than money they take in through donations. Unions take dues and don’t even provide a form of income insurance with those monies.

  20. Habib

    Ask any digger who’s served in the third world what they think of the Red Cross.

  21. entropy

    All that is required for charities is to require them to publish an annual report detailing income and detailing all expenditure just like any other big business. That includes details of payments to directors and executive staff’ travel and accommodation, advertising etc.
    they could even detail what proportion of their funds actually reaches the purpose of the raised funds.

  22. Pedro the Ignorant

    Ask any digger who’s served in the third world what they think of the Red Cross.

    from Habib.

    Or Oxfam, especially in Africa. Worse than Mugabe’s thugs.

  23. 1735099

    Ask any digger who’s served in the third world what they think of the Red Cross

    FWIW, the Red Cross is a great NGO that does essenial and noble work.

  24. johanna

    The accuracy of Habib’s post has just been confirmed by an impeccable source.

  25. jupes

    Ask any digger who’s served in the third world what they think of the Red Cross.

    The Red Cross’ credibility has always relied on it not taking sides in a conflict.

    This credibility was destroyed during this incident, where not only did it take sides but it took the side of evil.

    The Red Cross has never admitted fault for this let alone apologised. Keep this in mind when it asks for a donation.

  26. Rococo Liberal

    The idea that creating another government body would help reduce red tape was always ludicrous. It is already clear that the opposite is the case, as charities now (and other NFPs later) have to do much more reporting to government.

    I know that in the legal industry the ACNC is looked upon as a complete waste of time and money.

    But the problem is what do you do with Guardian-reading pseuds who haven’t read a book published before 1980, have the brains of gnat and the wisdom of a flea, yet think that somehow they are important. You have to give them academic and/or public service/qango sinecures.

    Personally, I favour sending them off to Tasmania to fend fo r themselves in the wilderness until the promise to be right wing and sensible.

  27. .

    What makes me blow up about charity is/was Kevin Rudd’s stupid and psychotic war on philanthropy.

    What kind of prick actually tries to end philanthropy, so they can write more cheques as PM?

    It is like the smarmy little coot wanted yours truly to pay him homage and tribute.

    He is lucky he doesn’t get treated in a similar manner a now dead and once infamous pariah who committed crimes against children.

  28. .

    “Gillard created the ACNC to cut red tape…”

    Or, to create jobs for da ALP boyz and grrlz…

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