faith-based schools

Government Plots to Gut Faith-Based Schools

28 December 2023

3.2 MINS

The left has long viewed public schooling as an essential tool by which to promote their ideas of social change. That’s why they hate private schooling.

A report commissioned by the Albanese Government recommends stripping religious schools of their tax deductibility status while making that same status available to activist LBGTQ groups.

Yes, you read that right. And no, I’m not making it up!

The Productivity Commission’s draft report ‘Future Foundations for Giving’ was commissioned by Treasurer Jim Chalmers in February and released last month.

It is — as former Liberal MP Nicolle Flint says — “a template for further eroding our Judeo-Christian values”.

The report argues that donations to private school building funds should not be tax deductible because it does not provide enough “public benefit”.

That’s an amazing conclusion when you consider that 1.4 million children (or 35 per cent of Australia’s total student population) are enrolled in non-government schools!

(The ALP’s primary vote at the 2022 election was 32 per cent — just sayin’.)

Furthermore, non-government schools have had this tax deductibility status since 1954.

That the government would flirt with removing a benefit private schools have enjoyed for 70 years is no small thing.

Spurious Grounds

The logic — if one can call it that — behind such a move is so wafer-thin that there is little doubt this recommendation has zero to do with tax policy and everything to do with an ideological attack on non-government schools.

The report argues that the tax deductibility provision should be removed because some parents might donate to their school’s building fund in return for discounted fees, thereby getting taxpayer-funded tuition.

But this is illegal.

And as someone who was chairman of a large private school, and talking regularly with other private school chairs, I can assure you this simply does not happen.

If it is happening, why has the government not named and shamed those schools and launched criminal charges against those involved?

Save Our Schools, an organisation that is advocating to strip tax deductibility status from private schools, further argues that private schools are “over-funded”.

I’m sure that will be a huge surprise to the majority of non-government schools that charge low fees.

Most non-government schools don’t charge fees to build amazing facilities; they charge fees to make up for the deficit in government funding.

A public school receives around $20,000 a year in government funding per student. But a private school receives only around $12,000.

So a school that charges student fees of $8000 a year is only just keeping pace with a public school.

Parental Choice

The overwhelming number of private schools do not provide education for uber-wealthy families.

They provide it to children of middle and lower socio-economic families who sacrifice in order to invest into their children’s education what little money they have left after paying their personal income tax.

And if the relatively few high end private schools attract massive donations from hugely wealthy parents, of what business is that to the government? Good on those donors for wanting the best for their children and for the generations to come. And don’t forget, those donors are already paying huge tax bills that contribute to the public system.

A third reason the government may remove DGR (deductible gift recipient) status from private schools is — can you believe it — to protect private school parents from manipulation and bullying.

Melbourne Law School professor Ann O’Connell claimed in the Australia Tax Journal this year that private school parents were pressured into making building fund donations, and many parents did not realise the payments were voluntary.

She added:

“These pressures may [also] include perceptions that their child may be disadvantaged if they fail to make a ‘donation’.”

(cough) … bullshit!

Public Good

But the most ridiculous justification — the one favoured by the Productivity Commission review — is that private schools don’t provide enough public benefit to warrant tax deductibility status.

As I said earlier, taxpayers spend around $20,000 a year on every public school student and only $12,000 a year on a private school student.

So every student in a private school is saving the government money. On that basis alone, private schooling is an enormous public benefit.

If, as seems to be the desire of this leftist government, private schools were forced to close, the resulting tsunami of students into public schools would bankrupt the public system overnight.

The inescapable conclusion is that the Labor Government wants to penalise parents who dare to opt out of the public system.

Leftists have long viewed public schooling as an essential tool by which to promote their ideas of social change. That’s why they hate private schooling, which robs them of children to indoctrinate.

It is telling that the same review that recommended cutting tax deductibility from non-government schools recommended giving tax deductibility status to LGBTQ activist groups.

You don’t have to be a conspiracy nutjob to join the dots.


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.
Photo by Oleksandr P.


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  1. Barbara Bluett 28 December 2023 at 11:38 am - Reply

    The sooner this government gets voted out the better. It is a disaster to Australia. Thanks James for that information. So so many good reasons to keep non government schools receiving tax deductibility.

  2. Albert 28 December 2023 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Those who know or suspect the thwarting moves of Satan, are not surprised by the trending schemes of governments. There is a similarity in intentions, it appears.

  3. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 29 December 2023 at 12:45 am - Reply

    Attorney- General Dreyfus and his team must be involved and be held responsible . He is the enemy of Free Speech and of Christianity and supports the Lgbt community, gender change , murder of babies born alive, did not oppose the fast-tracking on- line of the immigration of 800 Gazans , did not prepare opposition to the release of a murderer, rapists, etc from detention, says he will protect our privacy by getting tough on Tic Tok if it steals our data, and, Dreyfus implies that Hezbellah is not telling the truth or must be mistaken when Hezbollah claims an Australian citizen of Lebanese extraction killed by the IDF was one of their fighters !— There is none so blind , they will not see !””= Dreyfus . We have had imans in Sydney preaching death to Israel , but, he has taken no action against them !
    I wonder how much money (a CRIME under Australian Law ) is sent from Australia to the Terrorist organisations (Hamas and Hezbollah ) to fund their war on Israel ? I am sure we can feel reassured the security of our country and our privacy is not breached while we have a person of Dreyfus’ calibre to protect us and enforce our Laws ! (Sarcasm ).

  4. Jim Twelves 29 December 2023 at 7:52 am - Reply

    James, thank you for your shining a light on yet another ideologically driven attempted manipulation of our fair-go Aussies. The more we turn the light on such atrocities the better. The more will be enlightened to their evil desires.
    Thank you for bringing your experience of Christian education to the Daily Declaration. As a former board chair of a Christian School, I can concur with your analysis.

  5. Phil Manley 29 December 2023 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    So are private schools headed the same way as the Canberra Hospital? A forced takeover to “save” the schools?

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