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Hindu Council Opposes abolition of Tax exemption for donations to build religious schools

The DGR status for donations has been given to every faith in the past and most have (rightly) used it to build their schools."

Hindu Council of Australia has made a passionate in-person submission to the Productivity Commission that tax exemptions for donations made to build faith schools should not be removed. Hindu Council is a member of Better Balanced Futures which fully supported the Hindu Council’s submission.

A Productivity Commission was set up by the federal government to advise it on how to double philanthropic giving by 2030.

The commission has produced a DGR Draft Report. DGR status of a charity permits its donors to claim a tax deduction for the amount of the donation. In its draft report (available at Draft Report – Philanthropy – Productivity Commission (pc.gov.au))  The commission recommends the removal of DGR (tax deductibility of donations) for school building funds.

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Better Balanced Futures, CEO, Murray Norman stated in his submission that,

“The Hindu community has seen many other faith groups access DGR status.. for building schools. With DGR slated to be removed from school building funds, .. is not a fair treatment for the Hindu community. To do this will be an embarrassing change to make politically, considering the increased government focus on the relationship with India.

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Josh, Murray and Surinder from Better Balanced Futures making their submission to the Commission.

Surinder Jain, National Vice President Hindu Council of Australia and Co-chair of Better Balanced Futures said,

Proposed changes to DGR status for SRE and Faith schools Hindus in Australia and Hindu Council of Australia would like to express their disappointment at the recommendation of the Productivity Commission that DGR status of donations made to advance Religious education in the form SRE and building funds for faith schools be discontinued.

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Unlike most other major faiths, Hindus do not have Hindu schools and therefore have not sought these DGR exemptions. As the Hindu population is growing there are plans in place to start Hindu schools and to raise funds to train and hire teachers for Hindu SRE. The DGR status for donations has been given to every faith in the past and most have (rightly) used it to build their schools.

Hindus are shocked that this is proposed to be taken away when it is our turn. We urge you to continue providing the support for Hindu education that has already been provided to other faiths. Faiths should not be penalised for providing education and charity services.

We are hoping that the gates of DGR support will not be shut when it is the turn of Hindus.

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