CCA Federal Budget Submission 2015/16 - February 2015

This submission promotes Federal Government measures that will strengthen the not for profit sector to deliver real economic and social benefits for governments and our communities.

With the current fiscal environment, CCA details six measures that for a commitment of $2.4 million will significantly increase sector efficiency, along with strengthening its performance and sustainability. This is a nominal amount given the sector's size, with great opportunities for community development and future savings.

The NFP sector turns over more than $100 billion per annum, encompasses over 600,000 organisations - from large to very small, and is estimated to employ over one million staff (or eight per cent of all employees in Australia). Despite this contribution to productivity and community resilience, there has been very minimal economic analysis by Australian governments on the sector and future forecasts.

As income stalls globally and demand for services continues to increase, we are seeing a strong international trend for governments to both reform engagement with the not for profit sector to achieve real efficiency. This will ultimately require more than window dressing, and an initial investment in time and resources.

After extensive sector and member consultation, CCA proposes the following Federal Budget measures:
1. Provide Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status to all registered charities with an initial exemption of organisations for the advancement of religion and education.
2. Establish a Social Finance Taskforce to identify and promote better access to capital for NFPs.
3. Continue supporting the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) to ensure an independent process in determining charitable status, building public confidence and driving government red tape reduction.
4. Increase philanthropy by enabling employers to establish ‘opt out’ systems of workplace giving based on 0.5% salary sacrifice.
5. Boost sector investment and productivity by increasing certainty in government funding, concessions, incentives and regulations.
6. 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 respond to emerging risks and limitations.

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.