This month, our Payroll Giving scheme started.

Under this voluntary scheme, for every dollar employees donate automatically from their pay packets to approved charities, they will receive a third back immediately. This means not having to submit claims at the end of the tax year.

I encourage employers and their staff to take up this opportunity.

More than 18,000 community organisations have already been approved to receive donations under the scheme.

The more we can give through steady, committed donations to organisations, the more financial certainty those organisations will have to support our communities.

The Government has also simplified reimbursement of volunteer expenses by making reimbursements tax exempt. This reduces costs for voluntary organisations and volunteers.

National wants to promote a culture of generosity and giving in this country, and celebrate those who donate their money, their time, and their lives to others.