CCA Federal Budget Submission 2018

CCA welcomes the opportunity to provide a submission to The Treasury; The Hon. Michael Sukkar, Assistant Minister to the Treasurer; and The Hon. Scott Morrison, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia to inform the 2018 Budget. 

View CCA's full submission.    Summary of key recommendations follows.


CCA's  submission outlines nine measures the Community Council for Australia (CCA) believes will significantly strengthen Australia’s not-for-profit (NFP) sector and drive real economic savings for government over the coming financial year and beyond.  These measures have been informed by consultation with CCA members (listed in Attachment A) and key organisations in the NFP sector.  

It is important to note that this submission does not override the policy positions outlined in any individual Federal budget submissions from CCA members. 

The content of CCA's submission includes: a brief background to CCA; a listing of proposed measures; an overview of the current issues for the NFP sector; further details about the proposals including likely costs; and a conclusion. 

CCA acknowledges the need for fiscal restraint and the growing demand for government services.  CCA proposes a major government revenue boosting measure (estate duty) as well as incentives to promote philanthropy and strengthen our communities (such as the French 90/10 superannuation rule). 

If Australia is to be a just and fair society where we increase collective ownership of local issues and build flourishing communities, there needs to be a genuine commitment to supporting reforms across the charities and not-for-profit sector from government and other key stakeholders.  This is not about providing more funding to the sector, but about encouraging and supporting more effective and efficient organisations delivering better outcomes for our communities. 

CCA welcomes this opportunity to provide input into the Federal Budget process and to engage in detailed discussion about any issues this submission raises.

Summary of proposed budget measures

The following proposals have been developed through extensive discussions and feedback from CCA members and other key stakeholders.  Each measure would deliver real benefits to government over the longer-term and strengthen communities (proposed measures are outlined in more detail on page four).

  1. Provide Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status to all registered charities with an initial exemption of organisations for the advancement of religion and education.  This measure will be completely funded by recent changes to Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) concessions that introduced the capping of meals and entertainment expenses.
  2. Introduce a targeted ‘estate duty’ for people with estates valued at over $10 million with appropriate incentives for donations to charities, safeguards relating to family businesses and farms; and mitigation of any potential adverse impacts.
  3. Implement the French 90/10 rule providing an option for all Australian employees to invest 5-10% of their superannuation into a not-for-profit social enterprise that benefits the community.
  4. Establish a Social Finance Taskforce (as recommended by the Senate Economics References Committee) to promote impact investing and better access to capital for NFPs. 
  5. Increase support for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to ensure an independent and effective process in determining charitable status, building public confidence in the sector and driving government red tape reduction.
  6. Increase philanthropy by enabling employers to establish more effective ‘opt out’ systems of workplace giving.
  7. Boost sector investment and productivity by increasing certainty in government funding, concessions, incentives and regulations.
  8. Work with the NFP sector to develop a future blueprint for the sector, including extensive consultation; economic modeling of future scenarios; strategies to capitalise on emerging opportunities; and increased capacity to respond to emerging risks and limitations.
  9. Review the generous tax concessions provided to gaming, catering, entertainment and hospitality income for mutual organisations, especially licensed clubs.

CCA believes these measures could be delivered within the next two years and produce a much stronger government budget position as well as building capacity and resilience in our communities.  Australia cannot afford to ignore growing levels of debt, increased inequality and the need to support flourishing communities as a basis for improved productivity and well-being.

An economy that does not support real growth in opportunity is not serving the interests of our community.  CCA believes every budget statement needs to be framed by what is going to deliver stronger, fairer, more creative, sustainable and connected communities.

This submission promotes Federal Government measures to strengthen the NFP sector and deliver real economic and social benefits for governments and our communities.

Many individual not-for-profit organisations (including CCA members) will be seeking to have the Federal Government fund specific measures for the benefit of their own causes and communities.  Most of these budget proposals from the not-for-profit sector are important and have real merit.

There is a strong case for reform in the charities and not-for-profit sector to build more resilient communities through greater engagement in our society and our economy.  Over the past two decades, the NFP sector has had limited support to improve capacity and effectiveness.  This is despite the very considerable contribution the broader NFP sector makes in terms of employment, productivity, individual and community well-being.

The harsh reality for most governments is that government income levels are stalling while demand for services continues to increase.  Part of the solution to this tension is achieving real productivity within government and the NFP sector.  Delivering positive change for NFPs requires an initial investment in time and resources to boost capacity and offer the certainty required for organisational investment.

Inequality continues to rise in Australia.  We need fairer ways of generating income for government and more impact investment to strengthen our communities.  Estate duties and the French 90/10 rule are two examples of sustainable policies that have the potential to be transformative.

The NFP sector is too large and too important to be left on the margins of economic debates and major policy reforms within Australia.  Government investment in enabling NFPs to be more efficient and effective will ultimately deliver stronger, more resilient and productive communities across Australia. 

The Federal Budget is the most important policy document a Federal Government produces.  Recognising the role of the NFP sector through implementation of the measures outlined in this submission will translate into a fairer budget that will increase sector productivity and growth, benefitting all Australians.

Read CCA's submission in full:  CCA Pre-Budget Submission 2018