Hundreds of thousands disappear into government coffers, just when Australians need it most 34



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The generosity of Australians has been affected, with over $500,000 in unclaimed donations being seized by the government. Now charities are losing big, just before Christmas time.

Under state and federal law, accounts can be taken if they lay dormant for an extended period of time. Unfortunately for charities such as the Red Cross and Salvation Army, this means major donations may never reach them.

Whilst there is no evidence of illegal practice or malicious intent, it appears that third party fundraisers took the donations without finalising payment. As a result, the Salvation Army alone has missed out on $100,000.

“Folks in the community who wanted to raise money for the Salvation Army opened an account, for example, to put those funds in and possibly never saw the process right through”, explained Salvation Army spokesman Bruce Harmer.

Many people are calling for a change in legislation, to prevent governments from seizing charitable donations. It has been suggested the onus should be on third-party fundraisers (such as schools and community groups) to ensure donations reach the appropriate charities.

The Salvation Army is now working with lawyers to recoup the funds it has lost. Prominent Australians such as philanthropist Dick Smith though, don’t like their chances.

“I have a feeling that the money that’s gone to the government is probably going to stay there”, Dick Smith commented. “But let’s hope that any future money goes (to charities)… They’re not getting as much money as they should.”

Do you believe the government should be allowed to seize charitable donations? Should $500 000 be returned to charities such as the Salvation Army and Red Cross?


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  1. The government has legislation that allows it to seize funds in accounts that are not accessed for I think six months (used to be 12), however, the rightful owner can have the funds returned although I understand it takes up to 18 months after applying.

    If the government wants to use money that isn’t being used, it should start up a government bank and do it correctly rather than being able to take our money.

  2. No they should not be able to take money that doesn’t belong to them, there bloody thieves and they don’t give a damn who they hurt. This is the worst GOVERNMENT we have ever seen.

  3. I believe every Australian which I am should put back in to Society. Charity should go to Charitable avenues such as Red Cross and other charitable institutions. They should not have to tolerate the Government doing away with money owed to charitable organisations. I am glad something is being done about this matter. I will hesitate in helping charitable organisations such as the Dogs who help the disabled, the blind and Cancer research till something is done about this issue.

  4. No. They just waste it on administration anyway.

  5. The government are a pack of Indian givers
    They are even worse than the Sheriff of Nottingham Steal from the Poor and give to the filthy rich including themselves the most overpaid bunch of greedy selfish Un Australian Snobs I have ever seen

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