Ms Patten (Northern Metropolitan) — My question is to the Honourable Gavin Jennings, representing the Treasurer. Religious institutions in Victoria receive a number of exemptions to payment of taxes and rates that are not enjoyed by other organisations. These exemptions are included within the Stamps Act 1958, the Financial Institutions Duty Act 1982, the Debits Tax Act 1990, the Payroll Tax Act 2007 and the Land Tax Act 2005. How much did exemptions on religious institutions’ investment earnings, land tax, capital gains tax on the sale of assets and rate payments cost Victoria in the 2013–14 year?
I look forward to the advice of the Treasurer. Sadly, my supplementary question is not as the minister suggested. Tax exemptions for religious organisations have been justified in the past through the suggestion that these organisations and the advancement of religion, which may denote them as charitable in common law, provide some kind of social benefit. Could the minister explain: what is the social benefit of advancing religion and how is that measured?