VVD MP says anti-smoking group should lose tax-free status

outdoor ashtray, smokingVVD MP Erik Ziengs wants the government to end the tax-free status of anti-smoking charity Clean Air Nederland, the AD reports on Monday.

Ziengs is angry that the organisation wants to stop people smoking in their own gardens if it causes a nuisance to others.

‘These sort of organisations make my skin creep,’ he told the paper. ‘How far should we go? Should you be banned from holding a barbecue in your garden?’

Clean Air Nederland is a registered charity which means it does not have to pay tax on donations. Donors can also benefit from tax breaks.

While freedom of speech is a greater good, ‘it does not have to be financed by tax payers,’ Ziengs told the AD. The Netherlands has already gone far enough to stop smoking in cafes and bars, he said.

Ziengs said he will ask the junior health minister if the tax free status can be removed from organisations which ‘pit people against each other’.

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