IS it time to tax people doing God’s work?
Rockhampton’s Steve Jeffery thinks so.
Steve is running as the Secular Party of Australia’s candidate for Capricornia and he reckons tax exemptions for religious organisations could be worth up to $30 billion a year.
“The Secular Party of Australia respects all citizens’ rights to follow any religion of their choice,” said Steve, who teaches science at a secondary school and runs a small telecommunications business.
“However, we also support the rights of all citizens to have freedom from religion if they so choose.
“Currently religious organisations are exempt from paying taxes as they claim all their activities have an altruistic side to them.”
He said the money could be better spent on other community needs such as increasing age pensions, hospital funding and research development.
“The SPA therefore advocates the setting up of a charities commission to supervise the appropriate administration of not-for-profit organisations,” Steve said.
“The SPA supports a proposal that a public benefit test be applied as a qualification for the granting of tax exemptions for religious organisations.”
He is also focusing on global warming.
“We have to recognise that global warming is a reality and for the sake of our children and their children we must act to reduce greenhouse gases,” Steve said.
“I believe that coal can be harnessed to provide our energy needs, but we must develop the technologies for our power stations to operate cleanly.
“To do so we must invest huge monies in research to achieve this goal.
“In addition we must develop renewable energy sources at a much higher rate and we should not dismiss the potential of base power being provided by a mixture of nuclear, coal and gas power stations.
“The bonus for Central Queensland would be a vibrant mining industry well into the future.”
He also singled out restricting tourism growth to eco-friendly projects, the close monitoring of the use of fertilisers and pesticides near the coastline as well as keeping a better watch on boats using the region’s reef shipping ways.
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