As Crikey reported earlier this week, Essential polling reveals that a majority of Australians – 64% — oppose the tax-exempt status granted to religious organisations in Australia, but Labor looks like it won’t be looking to seize on the popularity of removing the exemption and also picking up additional government revenue from religious groups forced to pay their fair share. In his Sky News town hall event in Redcliffe in Queensland last night, Shorten said that Labor would allow religious groups to retain tax-exempt status:
“I think religious organisations do deserve tax exemptions because of the beneficial work they do for the community. Some organisations call themselves religions, and whether or not they’re tax-dodger or religions remains to be seen.”
Shorten cited Labor setting up the charities register, and then pivoted to talking about marriage equality.