A wealthy Pentecostal church received $ 660,000 in job retention payments and subsequently posted a 3620% increase in profits and an increase of 1.2 milliondollars of income.
Hope Unlimited Church, a world church that began on the central coast of New South Wales, revealed in Regulatory body registrations charity that he made a profit of $ 1.6 million last year while receiving $ 660,000 in job retention payments.
The result was a huge increase in profit of $ 43,355 recorded in 2019.
Church revenues also increased throughout the first year of the pandemic, from $ 2.8 million in 2019 to $ 4 million in 2020.
The church is headed by M ark and Darlene Zschech, a well-known Christian singer, who spent 25 years alongside Brian and Bobbie Houston in Hillsong, before breaking up to form a new church.
Among the church's supporters are Liberal MP Lucy Wicks, who attended the 'church, spoke on stage, praised his work in parliament, and described Mark and Darlene Zschech as "amazing people ".
Churches, Like other charities, were eligible for Jobkeeper, if they expected a 15% drop in revenue between March and September of last year.
The ABC previously reported that approximately 3,500 religious entities received $ 627 million in job retention payments until March, when the program ended. He reported that dozens of the country's largest churches and religious groups have done so while remaining in surplus. HopeUC has been approached for comment.
The church has built a worldwide following across campuses in India and United States. Its deposits with Australian charities and non-profit commission shows declining revenue from speaking engagements and events in 2020.
But l Significant increase in "legacy offers" and "online campus donations" more than made up for the shortfall.
The government has come under pressure to recover money from entities that received employment maintenance, but then avoided any drop in income.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg previously said government would welcome religious groupswho refund the money if they are able to.
Initially, priests and other religious practitioners Iters were not eligible for Jobkeeper , but Frydenberg changed the eligibility rules in May of last year to ensure they could receive the money.
Monash University law professor Luke Beck has already argued that this is almost certainly unconstitutional. Beck said the High Court made it clear that the government cannot directly fund religious activities.
"If the matter got to the courts, the taxpayer funded priests amendment almostcertainly be declared invalid, "he wrote in an article for the University news publication, Lens .
Senate inquiry examined Greens proposal aimed at recouping Jobkeeper from companies earning more than $ 50 million per year, which claimed the grants despite the subsequent increase in their income.
In a hearing on Friday, the Australian Taxation Office revealed that it had examined the eligibility of 1,600 entities, including 480 large companies, and found that 95% were eligible.
The ATO also prevented the payment of approximately $ 767 million through eligibility checks.
"We identified $ 470 million in overpayments from which we recovered $ 194 million andsue $ 89 million, with $ 6 million in litigation; and have decided not to sue $ 180 million, "said ATO.