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Pages tagged "overseas aid"
John Beckett on the Political Spot
· February 26, 2013 11:00 AM
John Beckett is the National Coordinator of Micah Challenge. He spoke to the ACL's Katherine Spackman about the
Finish the Race
campaign - a united appeal to Australian politicians to prioritise our commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of eight international targets intended to halve poverty by 2015.
Make your pledge to 'finish the race' and halve world poverty by 2015
· February 21, 2013 11:00 AM
Australia was one of the 189 member states of the United Nations that had signed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 to halve world poverty by 2015.
At the last election both Labor and the Coalition had committed to boost foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income (GNI) by 2015-2016, yet both parties have backed down on its commitment. The government’s commitment stands at just 0.35 per cent of GNI - well short of what is needed to eradicate poverty and help developing nations implement poverty-reducing policies.
From the beginning ACL has lobbied for government to reach the target as outlined by the MDGs and endorsed Australia's willingness to be more generous to the poor. ACL committed itself to communicating parties' election promises to the Christian constituency, including the
ALP's promise not to cut aid
In the lead up to this year's federal election campaign, the Australian Christian Lobby will be asking major political parties to recommit to the MDG goals and specifically the 0.7 per cent of GNI. Micah Challenge has launched its own campaign to 'Finish the Race' - calling on Australian leaders to 'finish what we started' and do our fair share towards achieving the MDGs and halving global poverty by 2015.
Join with Micah Challenge, churches, and other Christian organisations in speaking out against poverty and injustice, and encourage our leaders to act in fulfilling our commitment to reducing world poverty.
Make a pledge today by visiting
MR: ACL says NFP reform must account for diverse nature of sector
· January 13, 2013 11:00 AM
For release: Sunday, January 13, 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby said today that any changes to the tax treatment of churches and charities, must acknowledge the diverse nature of the sector and particularly the effect on the charitable activities of smaller churches and organisations caused any increased administrative overheads.
The ACL agreed with the Community Council of Australia’s concern to see that the FBT entitlements not be abused and its desire to see DGR status more easily available over time to all charities.
However it is concerned that due to the administrative overheads of compliance for DGRs, that churches be given the choice of opting into DGR or retaining their basic religious charity status with only income tax exemption, but less overheads.
“At the lower end of the charities sector are thousands of church congregations who channel a large part of the high proportion of giving religious people make nationally,” said Mr Wallace. “While DGR status should be an option, churches must also be able to elect to remain income tax exempt as basic religious charities to simplify the administrative burden for their transfer function and that of their own direct charity work.”
US studies have identified religious giving as providing as much as 75% of donations received by even secular organisations and in Australia religious giving is the highest proportion nationally at one third of total giving. It is estimated that Christians provide a very significant proportion of private giving to overseas aid through churches and Christian organisations.
ACL is concerned that more of Australia’s limited overseas aid budget is being channelled into abortion in developing countries, instead of improving birthing facilities
· November 29, 2012 11:00 AM
In response to a question in the Senate this week, Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr referenced the government's recent pledge to increase to $50 million per year the amount of aid money for ‘family planning’ in third world countries, doubling the amount it gave in 2010.
ACL does not believe aborting babies is the answer to dealing with problems of maternal and child health in developing countries. Providing abortion services would be a failure of the government to properly support women and children in dire circumstances, and ACL is disappointed in Queensland Labor Senator Claire Moore's continual push of abortion as the answer. In an effort to reduce these problems, greater funding should be given to health support services, including improving birthing facilities and providing more midwives and doctors. This would save lives of women without having to abort their babies.
Senator Carr also announced this week that Australia will provide up to $70 million to the UN's Population Fund over the next four years, appears to be a better use of taxpayers’ money. This money is targeted at training midwives and doctors in remote areas of countries like Cambodia.
Soon after assuming Government, Labor over-turned the Howard Government’s long-standing ban on using overseas aid money for abortion. Sadly, the share of money going to abortion seems to be growing.
to read Senator Carr’s comments to the Parliament.
John Beckett on The Political Spot
· September 25, 2012 10:00 AM
John Beckett is the national coordinator of Micah Challenge, which held its annual Voices for Justice conference in Canberra last week. John spoke to ACL's Daniel Simon about the conference.
John Beckett on The Political Spot
· September 11, 2012 10:00 AM
John Beckett is the national coordinator of Micah Challenge. He spoke with ACL's Daniel Simon about the upcoming Voices for Justice conference in Canberra.
Change to tax law could mean less money to world’s poor
· August 24, 2012 10:00 AM
Friday, August 24, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby welcomes the introduction of legislation to establish the new Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) but is concerned about the impact of some provisions in the bill for churches and other not-for-profit organisations.
Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury introduced draft legislation to establish the ACNC and also to amend special conditions for tax exemption.
bill will establish a new “in Australia” test, which will require that an organisation must operate principally in Australia to retain tax exempt status. This means that organisations which operate overseas or direct funds to overseas operations risk losing tax exempt status, which in turn means less money going to the world’s poor.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace says that the bill is alarming for charities and not-for-profit organisations.
“There is concern that charitable organisations providing overseas aid may be significantly impacted by this bill,” he said.
“Further, there will be less incentive for businesses or individuals to make charitable donations if they are not tax deductible.”
“Charities and not-for-profits make enormous contributions, not only in Australian society, but where it is most needed in other parts of the world,” he said.
“It is essential that in a wealthy country like Australia, charities can continue to operate efficiently and people are encouraged to give generously to help those in need.”
Dig deep for Africa and Govt will match your dollars
· October 06, 2011 11:00 AM
[caption id="attachment_11134" align="alignleft" width="126" caption="Dig deep for Africa"]
With the humanitarian crisis deepening on the Horn of Africa, the Australian Government has announced that it
will match dollar for dollar
any donation made to accredited Non-Government Organisations working in the field.
Several Christian organisations are among those who qualify. Please dig deep as 750,000 people are facing starvation and millions more, including malnourished children, are in desperate need of humanitarian aid.
MR: Budget aid boost welcome, charities’ tax a worry
· May 10, 2011 10:00 AM
For release: Tuesday May 10, 2011
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the Government’s boost to overseas aid in tonight’s budget but remained concerned about a move to tax charities.
ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton welcomed the $477 million per year increase to helping the poor which takes Australia’s giving to $4.8 billion or 0.35 per cent of Gross National Income.
The budget showed the Government was on track to meet its election promise to increase aid to 0.5pc of GNI by 2015-16.
“Despite the Global Financial Crisis and our own natural disasters, Australia remains a rich country compared to many of our neighbours and we can afford to be generous with our overseas aid, particularly when 22,000 children die each day from preventable conditions.
“However, the Government’s target is still well below the Millennium Development Goal which calls for rich nations to increase aid to 0.7pc of GNI by 2015 as part of a plan to halve world poverty,” Mr Shelton said.
While supportive of the MDGs, ACL was disappointed by the Government’s decision in 2009 to allow some of Australia’s overseas aid money to be used to fund abortions when the money could have been spent on saving mothers’ and babies’ lives.
Meanwhile, ACL remained concerned about plans to tax the commercial earnings of charities which did not contribute to the charitable purpose of the organisation.
“Because the overwhelming majority of charities with commercial arms plough profits back in to the charity, it is not known why this new tax is necessary and what other administrative burdens might come with it,” Mr Shelton said.
“The case has not been made for going against the Henry Review recommendation not to tax charities and ACL remains concerned there may be unintended consequences for churches and charities.”
Mr Shelton said the announcement that a Not for Profit Commission would be established was welcome as it would be independent of the Australian Taxation Office which had a conflict of interest when dealing with charities.
Audit of overseas aid spending welcome
· November 18, 2010 11:00 AM
Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd this week announced a review of Australia’s multi-billion dollar aid program.
There has been considerable public concern in recent months at the efficacy of Australian aid spending, with reports suggesting some consultants are being paid many hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Australian Government has stated its commitment to the aims of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include halving extreme poverty by 2015. By then Australia’s aid budget will grow to $8 billion a year, making AudAID the fifth biggest-spending federal government agency.
With existing concerns about the effectiveness of Australian aid spending, and spending in the sector set to grow dramatically in the years ahead, a review is timely to ensure that we are doing are utmost to direct aid funding to where it is most needed and will have the most impact.
As Rowan Callick
, “Australians’ natural warmth about the notion of doing good should not prevent a tough assessment of how – indeed, whether – Canberra's spending can sustainably improve the lives of the poor in other countries.”
For another media report on the review of Australian aid spending, please click
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