Declining religion may contribute to decline in charity

Inland Revenue data shows the number of people filing a tax return to claim a tax rebate on donations has fallen year-on-year over the past three tax years, from 383,144 in the year to March 2013 to 359,541 in the 2015 year.

Tax refund site MyTax analysed more than 300,000 tax returns and found the average total donations claimed had fallen to $761, from the previous year’s $841.

Joseph Bulbulia, of Victoria University and a member of the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study, said one of the reasons for a wider drop in donations was that people had less cash in their wallets.

“Many people donate spontaneously, when they are approached in the street by a collector. But people don’t carry cash any more. It’s hard to estimate how much it’s affecting the hidden economy but estimates are that it’s substantial.:

He said organised religion was another driver of charitable giving and as that declined in New Zealand, it could affect how much was donated.

“Also as people retire they tend to give less money to charity but tend to volunteer more. As the population ages we will probably see more volunteering and less donation.” Continue reading


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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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