Salvation Army: Australian carbon tax will cost charities millions, hurt the poor

David Martosko Executive Editor
Font Size:

In a confidential briefing note obtained by media in Australia, the Salvation Army fretted that carbon taxes set to be imposed soon Down Under will cost charities at least $3.5 million per year and force them to cut back on services to the poor.

The legendary charity called the new global warming-oriented tax “unjust and unfair,” according to The Daily Telegraph in Sydney.

Australian citizens are preparing to pay considerably more to dispose of trash in landfills when the carbon tax is launched on July 1. That financial pressure, the Salvation Army said, will cause more and more Australians to dispose of used furniture and clothing by dumping them on charities instead of throwing them away.

And once charities are subjected to “more dumping from a price-sensitive public,” disposal costs will be shifted to the Salvation Army, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and other charities. About one-quarter of used goods donated to the non-profits is too worn or damaged to be sold, and winds up in landfills anyway.

The Salvation Army operates on a $300 million budget in Australia. Frank Staebe, the CEO of the organization’s stores, said the added impact on its bottom-line “really means … that less goes into social programs.”

The Australian government claims that its carbon tax will be used, in part, to lower energy costs for charities. But those organizations are preparing a nationwide campaign against the tax.

“The underlying issue here is that this is not waste which we generate,” the Salvation Army wrote in the internal document.

“The carbon price is based on a ‘polluter pays’ philosophy and yet, once again, charitable recyclers will face soaring costs.”

Follow David on Twitter