March 14, 2007 | Graham

Santoro donates profit to Costello too.

It’s good to see that The Courier Mail is not as cosy with Santo as it used to be – two front page stories (one here) criticising him over his breach of the ministerial code of conduct. Time was when his spin was likely to dominate whatever Liberal Party story they were covering.
This morning the criticism is that while he claimed to have donated the profits on his undeclared share holding to a “charity” the organisation that he nominated as a charity wasn’t one. The proof of this is a nit-picking bureaucratic lawyerly one – the organisation to which he donated, the Family Council of Queensland, is not registered with the tax department as a charity. Apparently, according to the Courier Mail, the Tax Department is the arbiter of what is charitable or not. Which must come as a surprise to thoughtful users of the English language who would most likely define a charity as “An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy” without any thought that the ATO might have a stake in the matter.
The only significance of the Tax Office’s definition is that by donating to one of its registered charities you receive a tax deduction for the money. Assuming that Santoro did not erroneously make a claim for a tax deduction, then donating the profits to a non-registered charity was an even more effective penance for his oversight. Not only did he give his profits away, but he would have had to pay tax on them as well. Depending on how he accounted for them under the capital gains laws and other gains and losses he made during that year, it could have resulted in him paying around another $3,000 to Treasury on top of the $6,000 to charity.
The Courier also manages to have a play with the fact that the Family Council of Queensland is a pro-life organisation. So did radio and television news. Apparently if you’re pro-life you can’t be charitable! Another interesting spin on the word “charity”.

Posted by Graham at 2:04 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. For God’s sake Graham; grow up!
    Santoro did not donate to this organisation because it is a charity ( no matter how it is presented or disguised ), but funded it but because it is an ideological stalking-horse for his personal prejudices; handy at election time and for the implementation of conservative policy in the meantime.
    Actually an nasty and deliberately provocative peice of political rubbish and only a shame he was chucked not for this; because many do not understand the subtleties, but because his arrogance had him in trouble on other fronts.

    Comment by paul walter — March 17, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

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