CHANGE THE LAW: High Court rules Greens front-groups can remain as charities for tax purposes while playing politics

highcourtcharityrort After yesterday’s ruling by the High Court that overturned the Australian Tax Office’s decision to remove deductible gift recipient “charity” status for left-wing group “Aid/Watch” it is clear the law needs to be changed to stop politicians from rorting charity structures for political gain.

The High Court’s controversial decision overturned an earlier Federal Court decision that confirmed the ATO’s decision.

The Court’s judgment is here.

It could open the floodgates to taxpayer subsidised political front-groups manipulating and influencing elections.

Many environmental groups have been actively involved in doing this already. And now it seems groups like GetUp! – a left-wing online political group – will also claim “charity” status in a move that could cost taxpayers many tens of millions of dollars as their donors will be able to reduce the amount of tax they have to pay by claiming the donation as a deduction.

With the federal government running a $60 billion budget deficit, this is a highly symbolic and potentially uncapped attack on the public revenue that in our view makes a joke of the arrangements that encourage members of the community to donate their hard-earned money to real charities like the Salvo’s or the Brotherhood of St Lawrence.

No genuine charity puts out How To Vote cards, or electoral score-cards, or focuses on electing a particular type of politician during elections. Many currently registered environmentalist and other pro-Green groups have engaged in this activity, at the most recent state Victorian election and federal election this year.

The law ought not prevent an organisation from giving comment in the media about their views, that’s a healthy part of political debate.

But when these “charity” groups act like political front-groups for political parties, handing out material at polling places, demonstrating against political candidates, urging a vote for one party over others then they are not only gaming or rorting the system they are thoroughly discrediting and undermining the special tax status given by the community to groups engaged in helping the community’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

It’s always the way with the ultra-left: their passion for power hurts people.

Why don’t these groups like Climate Action Network or Environment Victoria register as the political parties they essentially are? For a start donations over $1500 aren’t deductible and there’s a disclosure and regulatory regime that’s much stricter than the charity one.

The most recent Wilderness Society annual report showed they received a $600,000 donation and dozens over $10,000 in the space of a year for a total of $15 million for they year.

TWS possibly does good works and we have no issue with them expressing views and engaging in debate but when they wish to act like a political party – or as a front-group for one – then they ought to be obliged to establish as one.

And of course they won’t want to do that because these enviro groups already have a party they support, whose votes they don’t wish to divide: the Greens political party.

Now the High Court has ruled on this, it’s vitally important the Parliament establish clear rules that will prevent taxpayer subsidised “charity” groups from playing politics in election campaigns. It’s not just elections they’re manipulating, they are attacking the whole basis of community support for enabling charity donors to deduct their gifts. And that’s too important to mess with just to satisfy the political ambitions of sleazy Greens party politicians.

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53 Comments

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53 responses to “CHANGE THE LAW: High Court rules Greens front-groups can remain as charities for tax purposes while playing politics

  1. Anonymous

    Well the High Court is full of lefties so what did you really expect ?

  2. Bryan

    I understand that the charity group ‘Liberal Clacker Watch’ is still eligible for tax free status. This is a right-wing lunatic radical extremist sectarian dangerous cabal that funds the expose of Tories buttocks to see where all the graft money goes.

  3. Wendy

    Friggin High Court. What would they know? Your Investigative Unit knows more. Why aren’t you running this country instead of running a home for hand experts? Let’s abolish the High Court, along with the public service, welfare, the environment, Sotherby, the Murray-Darling, solar energy, single mothers, anyone who ever voted against Ted (that’s about 60% of Victorians), AFL – or at least Hawthorn, sustainability, free choice, anyone who doesn’t use coal, Malcolm Fraser, Virginia Trioli, the bloke with the small knob who loved Senator SHY, gays, Jews, blacks, the unemployed, migrants (especially all those Europeans who live in Melbourne!), boat people, boats in general, in fact all pleasure craft, VB (what a dud beer), Marcus North, and anyone who wears the colour GREEN!!

  4. Ronnie

    I am almost convinced ‘Wendy’ is a fictional character devised by Vexnews to stimulate controvery in the comments section

    [VEXNEWS: Sadly, not.]

  5. Anon

    Bryan – great work champ.

  6. RJ

    Given your claim that “no genuine charity puts out How To Vote cards, or electoral score-cards, or focuses on electing a particular type of politician during elections,” I look forward to your support for removing the tax-free status from any religious group that makes political statements.

    [VEXNEWS: We have no issue with any group expressing a view or making comment , our issue is with front-groups for political parties exploiting charity tax status to put out their propaganda to influence elections in HTVs, campaigning, protesting against candidates etc. There’s a big difference. And we think that should apply equally to Environment Victoria and any other group actively helping one politician over another. It’s simply inappropriate for them to be using taxpayer subsidised charity money for party political purposes, whether it’s helping the Greens party or any other. The law should be changed.]

  7. Anonymous

    The politicians just dont get elected, they also get appointed and wear robes.

  8. BS Detector

    Wendy is finally starting to speak some commonsense.

  9. Sotherby

    Wendy give it up you hysterical lunatic, every additional post you make is probably bringing that thumping big brain clot closer to your brain..hmm, perhaps keep on with it then.

  10. Wendy

    I wish VEX would hire me to offer an alternate – and I do mean alternate – view. It’d be a laugh a minute and all I want for payment is a year’s supply of soy milk, a hairy armpitted public servant lesbian sports hating bike riding bong head for company. And Sotherby. Let’s face it, a girl needs something to laugh at.

  11. Oh

    Sorry I didn’t realise that religious organisations didn’t support ‘one politician over another’. Thank you VEXNEWS for setting us all straight.

  12. Sotherby

    Keep talking to me Ben as you insert my XL butt plug.

  13. Sandy Wilton

    The greens are the Hansonites of the Left and will implode like their forebears.

  14. Professor Malcolm McErrors of the Political Correctness Department

    This is a good debate to have. As previously mentioned, religious groups on the right as well as enviro groups on the left use this rort. The Assemblies of God Church here in SA actively run the Family First Party (they deny it but their equivalent of their state council is composed almost exclusively of members of one church!) so Vexnews you can’t have your cake and eat it too – should it be available for all sides or just allowed for those on the right?

    [VEXNEWS: Family First is a political party though not a taxpayer subsidised “charity” front-group like Environment Victoria etc. If the AOG handed out HTVs funded by donations received in their capacity as a church/charity, we’d strongly object to that too. In this case, while you simplify what Family First is, the AOG folk set up a structure that is legally separate from their Church and is a registered political party operating on a level playing field.]

  15. Sotherby

    i highly doubt you have a job Wendy.

  16. RDR

    I’ve been appointed Minister of employment. And teens ladies like a “job” with me? txt me, be hot.

  17. yeah great piece you muppet!

    dont you get it? this opens the door for all our buddies from the IPA, CIS, Sydney Institue etc etc to now claim tax free status for the important, independent contribution they make to re-rendering this country in the glorious capitalist utopia we know we will become.

    yeah the high court is full of lefties….ah the knowledge of the contributors to this site is just mindblowing

    JWH

  18. Wendy

    I do have a job Sotherby. I train your wife to ‘sit’ and ‘heel’.

    LOL!!!!

  19. Sotherby

    I don’t have a wife, I have a male life partner.

  20. Inga Binga

    I am so proud and touched I’ve just been made”
    Minister for Deep Fried Hotdogs.

  21. Wendy

    So sorry Sotherby, that was most inconsiderate of me and I genuinely apologise for that remark. Please bark my sentiments to your partner too.

  22. Sotherby

    Do you enjoy haveing conversations with yourself you mutant- sad that you have to stoop to such a low act as to post entire conversations poseing as others, indeed you must live a low life in the dark corner of some toxic waste dump.

  23. Sotherby

    And yet still no explanation on what a great cock up saturday’s election was for the Greens- i guess it must be hard, a little shell shocked that your fucking wrong.

  24. Wendy

    What is “poseing”? What does it mean? Is it a new word, like Sotherby /soth-er-bee/ adj.. 1. a man who enjoys his own joystick. 2. Small in so many ways: ‘my Sotherby gets smaller when I’m in water’. 3. A term of affection for a partner; ‘my dog Lassie likes to lick my Sotherby.

  25. Oh my god this weirdo is President of the Upper House!

    “Stick with the dog”, by B.N. Atkinson

    You don’t like my dog
    And that’s a pity really
    as he’s quite fond of you.

    It doesn’t matter to me
    though if I have to choose
    I will stay with the dog
    as we have more in common
    and both like where we live.

    “Stick with the dog”, by B.N. Atkinson in “Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea” (Jared Publishing, Donvale) 1994, pg 67.

  26. Edmund Egg

    Gee that Wendy is nasty. Why are people so unpleasant?

  27. Bryan J

    I like their banter. makes me think that’s how Kevin and Julia must communicate.

  28. Syphologist

    I think you’ve missed the nuance that the roles of Speaker and President are where you put the time servers who haven’t quite got what it takes to be a good/trusted performer on the floor.

    A nice pair of appointments, don’t you think?

  29. Sotherby

    if I had the time you have to sit idle on a computer between commenting on this site (and a terrific site it is) and the various dog-on-cow- on-tree-on-greens supporter porn I would waste it pointing out your various spelling mistakes and misuse of terms you mutated garbage eating creature spawned from the dark depths of the Lucas Height rector when some poor sod wanked a load off into the reactor pool.
    I imagine when people walk down a street and see a large lump of dog shit they often think to themselves “what a massive Wendy that is” and still you can’t bring yourself to explain why the greens bombed out so fantastically on the weekend, because people like you run the show perhaps?

  30. Wendy

    Oh poor Master Sotherby. Is that it? Is that your best shot? A bit of your anal fixation, a few of your dog/partner fantasies? Really, what a disappointment to the many readers of this entertaining site. I think we all expected more from you – maybe some wit, a few barbs, a festive jest wouldn’t be too much to ask.

    If I was your mirror I’d book a vacation to Burma. If I was your school teacher I’d bring back the cane. If i was your partner, I’d ask for my flea collar to be reinstated.

    Honestly, you really are a simpleton, arn’t you. No style, no chic, no repartee. I bet you bore the blokes at work with your dullard views. You must be the one others avoid: oh no, here comes Sotherby with his tired old stories and boring stereotypes, let’s pretend we’re busy.

    If you have children, I suspect they tell classmates they’re orphans. Your relatives must dread Christas – what’ll we get Sotherby? A facemask? A ticket to Tehran? A gift voucher to a funeral parlour? masking tape?

    Yawn, you bore me little boy. Now be a good smidgins and run off and play with your doodle.

  31. Wendy

    Oh poor Master Sotherby. Is that it? Is that your best shot? A bit of your backside fixation, a few of your dog/partner fantasies? Really, what a disappointment to the many readers of this entertaining site. I think we all expected more from you – maybe some wit, a few barbs, a festive jest wouldn’t be too much to ask.

    If I was your mirror I’d book a vacation to Burma. If I was your school teacher I’d bring back the cane. If i was your partner, I’d ask for my flea collar to be reinstated.

    Honestly, you really are a simpleton, arn’t you. No style, no chic, no repartee. I bet you bore the blokes at work with your dullard views. You must be the one others avoid: oh no, here comes Sotherby with his tired old stories and boring stereotypes, let’s pretend we’re busy.

    If you have children, I suspect they tell classmates they’re orphans. Your relatives must dread Christas – what’ll we get Sotherby? A facemask? A ticket to Tehran? A gift voucher to a funeral parlour? masking tape?

    Yawn, you bore me little boy. Now be a good smidgins and run off and play with your doodle.

  32. LeftRightOut

    yep, I’d be keen to hear Wendy’s take on the drubbing the got in Vic last week.
    Also, the drubbing they’re getting in Tassie.
    Greens are on the nose nationally.

    Comment, Wendy? c’mon, be a sport 🙂

  33. Wendy

    My dear LeftRightOut. Drubbing? In Tasmania, you may note that the Greens are in Government with the Labor Party. Thoughts of such a rabid Left cabal may fill your pants with fear, but they warm my pleasant bosom more than you can imagine.

    The Greens are also in an alliance in the ACT, they will hold the balance of power in the senate next July, and in inner city Melbourne, averaged 16% of the vote. Big Ted, with one seat and a front bench comprised of human leftovers, won’t last a full term. Too incompetent. Too talentless. Too inexperienced. They will fall like the dandruff from your head.

    The only drubbing my friend is that 1 in 5 vote Green, and 50% vote Left.

  34. mugged by reality but still blaming 'wear n tear'

    The real rort that continues on this site and in Victorian Labor is the denial about the the wasted Brumby years and the cold shower just given by voters.

    We went from ‘Bracks listens and acts’ to ‘Brumby won’t listen but will tax’.

    Bracks was elected to rebuild services and curb Kennett’s bad planning laws and arrogant style.

    He was returned with increased power because he delivered in these three areas. He gave Victoria better services, more sane planning and a more consultative style.

    Brumby and his clones became deaf to community concerns and failed to lift services as the population surged. The ‘Brumby Zombies’ were also addicted to high taxes and bad planning outcomes.

    This was topped off by the most amateur election campaign since 1996.

    Exactly who decided to shove Brumby down our throats when many had already had a gutful of Brumby.

    The current opposition continues to suffer from Brumbyitis and still acts like brumby zombies.

    A community focus needs to be brought back to the centre of everything Labor says and does between now and the next election.

    But the whole lot need to go on a reality boot camp – that is not likely. More likely is that they continue to hide with factional hacks and the incompetent young yes people they prefer as advisers. They like Brumby will continue to seek some solace and emotional security from the false thought that it was just ‘wear and tear’ that saw a 55 seat majority reduced to 43 in one election.

    Vexnews’ silence on the big issue of rebuilding community trust in Labor shows that Vex is part of the ‘big lie’ in Victorian Labor.

    The ‘big lie’ is when people do not face the facts that Brumby and Labor had control and could have mades 5 or 6 adjustments to policy and run real direct mail campaigns and kept government.

    In the end Labor lost the majority because of a failure to be professional and make adjustments for those who vote in the suburbs.

    This failure to act not only cost government but has left many seats marginal.

    If the labor MPs do not change their thinking and actions and reconnect with a Bracks-like focus on services and the community then Labor will lose more seats in 2014.

    And here is a ‘cast iron’ news tip for you Andy: the next Labor Premier is not even in the Parliament yet.

  35. Boy from Babylon

    It would be nice to think that Smiling Steve Bracks paid as much attention to rail crossing safety as he devoted to stamps in his passport.

  36. I like Vexnews because it keeps me in touch with events in the old home town. The beating dished out to the Greens on Saturday reflects the growing awareness across Australia that the Tomato Faction* are not just a mostly harmless bunch dewy-eyed tree-hugging hippies.
    I was surprised that Labor held power in Victoria so long. The memory of The Joan Kirner Experience faded quick for some, obviously.
    As mugged by reality says, Labor lost touch with the voters outside the Green enclave of the inner suburbs. They might have got back in this time too if Ted had shocked everyone by showing that he had a pair and refusing to preference the Greens ahead of the ALP.

    *Tomato Faction – they start green, but when they’re fully ripe they’re red all the way through.

  37. “… if Ted hadn’t shocked everyone…” scuse me.

  38. Bracks majority speaks for itself

    Bracks came in on key staffing promises on nurses, teachers and police.

    He did not have to be perfect – he simply delivered on main platform.

    That was enough to gain huge majority over time.

    The rest is splitting hairs.

    Brumby’s zombies on the other hand went off on too many directions – and most of them had nothing to do with Labor’s previous mandates.

  39. Sotherby

    Still Wendy you can’t bring yourself to say the Green are a failure, that’s why you now have to fixate on others, have you lost interest in the Greens? or are you that fucking stupid that you think all that have read this site for a good long time will just accept that your typical Greens double standards are hard at work, your pathetic denialist attitude only make you look stupid. At some stage you will wake up and as you sip on your soy milk latte you might think to yourself what an utter failure you are as a human being with no decent contribution to any sort of debate, just a life lost to sad sad pursuits like defending the Greens on an internet blog.

    I do hope you don’t leave, because me like many others who thought the Greens could possibly solidify their position in the parliamentary system now understand that with freaks like you involved there’s no chance of that, but rather election after election of trumpt up expectations only to be let down by the fact that you’re a parking lot for the protest vote.

  40. Wendy

    Oh my, a wordy response from my inferior! Seriously though my minion, a failure is Family First, the Nationals, Bendan Nelson, Julie Bishop et al. See the ACT and Tasmania and the Senate post July and come back to me about failure. Pfff, you know nothing.

    And of course, being mentally inferior, you resort to name calling and personal degredation, like the little schoolboy bully you so wanted to be. Honestly, you are a psychologists wet dream Sotherby – your failings and insecurities are there for all to see.

    Are you violent towards women? I suspect so. Dogs and cats feel your rage? No doubt. Children – if you have them, are they scared of daddy? Is your job mid to lower level?

  41. Sotherby

    Your pathetic Wendy, again can’t address the fact that the greens are close to a spent force.
    I don’t need to concern myself with your sad howling and hollering, I suspect you have no life, no job, no family, no friends, it’s not bullying or degrading to any sex, it’s a fact that you help to illustrate every time you log on you foul mouthed cretin.

  42. Wendy

    A spent force – talk to me when the new Senate takes its place next July you sub-acute example of why RU 486 should be more widely used.

    A spent force – co-governing Tasmania and ACT. Getting 16% of the urban vote in Victoria and more votes than the Nationals! Read the AEC website you semi competent cheese fancier.

    In answer to your questions:
    1. I have a life. If I was dead, I wouldn’t be able to type.
    2. I have a job. It pays $145,000 and all I do is blog here. LOL. I’m on easy street because I have two degrees and letters after my name.
    3. I have three children – normal, smart, leftwing, good looking. None of them are registered at the pound, so your lot have probably never met (we live in Western Sydney)
    4. Foul mouthed? I reckon I’m just always one step ahead of you. Always have been, always will be.

    Beep beep. Roadrunner to coyote hardy ha ha.

  43. LeftRightOut

    Clearly Wendy is a Melbourne based public servant.
    Tasmianian polls have the Greens at record low support, same with labour.
    16% in inner city Melbourne… Holy cow batman! I can’t believe they could poll so low in the leftiest [sic] town in Australia.
    ACT really is scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of trying to put a positive spin on greens’ standing in the electorate.
    The short lived (as far as senate is short lived) greens exposure in the senate will be the final solution… Exposure is what’s killed the greens, and the future does not look bright.

    Learn your history, Wendy. Conservatives have held power far more than the left, this will not only continue, but the gap will increase.

  44. Wendy

    Re Mr LeftRightOut and his/her/its political acumen – the political party is actually spelt LABOR – there is no U in it. I guess you vote Libel and hate the Greeks? Do you like the Tee Party or the Repubicans?

    Also, polls are not votes. It is a subtle difference my feathered friend, but in this country we form government by votes, not polls. Otherwise when Howard hit 17%, Beazley would have been installed as PM.

    Re your comments on the ACT – you really are a fool on so mnay levels. In the ACT, Labor = 7, Liberal = 6 and Green = 4. They hold the balance of power and two of their members were elected first, before their Labor & Liberal chums got past a quota.

    As for your re-writing history – let me see, the Liberals got what, 33% of the primary federal vote, Labor about 38%, the country bumpkins about 5% and the Greens about 10%.

  45. Sotherby

    don’t try to attempt to use any logic LeftRightOut, that will only confuse the greens even more- going backwards in an election and making no gains at all is a good thing in the new paradigm.

  46. LeftRightOut

    Dear Wendy, I am well aware how Labor is spelt, unfortunately my iPad isn’t. It’s taken control I tell you!
    The polls do tell how much “support” a party has. The Green vote was less than 1% higher in Victoria this time around than it was at the last state election. This, despite Brown et al claiming that they’d win seats in their own right.
    The ACT is populated with public servants, the vast majority would tend to be of the left (certainly the vast majority of the ones I know). It is for this reason that I wholey ignore anything that goes on in Canberra.
    Have a look at Australia’s [political] history, more conservative than not. I don’t see what this point has to do with your primary vote figures… also, where’s the other 14%?

    Lastly, you do seem overly agressive, perhaps I was right about you being a Melbourne based public servant… the shoe does fit 🙂

    So much for the “living in south West Sydney” claim eh?

  47. Sotherby

    I would believe Wendy that you may be a very low level, possible mid management (public service) with an alcohol and pill dependency an Arts degree and perhaps a diploma in public servire management. And yes I am sure – I’m sure we and your offspring would never meet, partly because you spend weeks on end in a mental institution and your pay, degrees and family are all part of that scary mix of gray matter and rat semen you call a brain.

    Wendy- votes mean nothing when the end result is no seats, that’s where the Greens are at in the lower house, and in the upper house it looks to be a loss of one member of the Greens delegation- but please continue Wendy to bore us with your attempts to somehow re-write the Victorian election result.

    No doubt you have spent the past weekend drafting some witty response for us. thanking you advance.

  48. Wendy

    Sotherby – every time your inferior intellect and pig ignorance is brought to the fore, you go the personal attack. Readers can judge what this says about you – a male who dislikes being shown up by a superior woman; a male likely prone to violence and the use of alocohol to manage their lack of self esteem. A man in a poor job and without social skills.

    Seriously, I urge you to seek help in managing your complexes.

  49. Wendy

    Re Left Right Out – again, your lack of information is telling. The majority of employees in the ACT are in small to medium sized business, the public service makes up less than 1/2 of all employees.

    And if you don’t like public servants, then stopping using the roads, the education system, public hospitals, rely on our defence force, seek help when natural disasters strike, have quality control on your food products, have quality control of other drivers, have a police force and so on.

    Honestly, I don’t know which is worse – you and your little smiley crack icon or that wife beater Sotherby? If that’s who supports the Tories, God help us!

  50. LeftRightOut

    Wow, and you have the hide to pick Sotherby up for ad hominems… Really shows your complete lack of coherent argument.
    Only a public servant could make the public service sound so great and worthwhile. Of course it’s required, but not the bloated numbers that we have ATM.
    You also seem to have a rather large chip on your shoulder in relation to gender, you keep bringing it up, feeling inferior? Something to prove perhaps? Not doing a great job so far 🙂

  51. Wendy

    Yawn. Your baby talk bores me. You are a prize buffoon mate, your blogs, your dipsy icons, your cry for attention.

    Clean the smeg from your keyboard and write something interesting, otherwsie I’m out of here bumpkin.

  52. Sotherby

    I guess if we were to expect that Wendy exaggerates on a basis of x 3- she has no qualifications and likely failed high school, has no children and is likely Chief Correspondence and Records Liaison Officer for the Department of Administrative Functions on approx $48K.

    I also hesitate to guess our Wendy is a rather obese man who indulges in cross dressing while posting on this blog, also maybe a member of the black shirts considering efforts by “her” to label anyone that speaks out of turn a wife beater and the sort.

  53. LeftRightOut

    Lol, clearly she’s not entirely retarded, just has trouble fitting in, and making friends 🙂

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