Government grants to charities

Government’s relationship with charities has become another part of the lively debate about how much the government should give in grants and to whom.

Pre New Labour there was an attempt to segregate government from charity. Charities were not encouraged to undertake work in areas covered by government. Government did not spend a lot of money on giving grants to charities. Charity law sought to ensure charities did not use money they had raised for political purposes, and did seek to keep their overheads down to maximise the favourable use of the donations.

Under Labour there was a policy to expand the so called third sector, and to offer it public service contracts to undertake functions that the state wanted done. There was a deliberate wish to blur the distinctions between charities, companies and state activity, and to create collaborations between the three sectors. The state could end up financing more than at first appeared, by making a direct contribution through its own participation in the joint venture, offering contract money to the private sector participant, and offering contact money and donations to the charity. So called public private partnerships also often concealed more state money and underwriting than was at first apparent. The state paid its own contribution, and then helped pay or underwrite the private sector contribution.

The more the state became involved in offering grants and contracts to charities, the more the charities had to build a well paid bureaucracy in their organisation to meet the paperwork requirements of the state. There needed to be lengthier and more detailed appraisals of projects, tasks and outcomes, and plenty of material for record keeping and audit. Charities needed expensive people to participate with the danger that overheads as a proportion of donations rose.

It now seems timely to ask what benefits has all this brought to users of these services and to taxpayers? How do the regular private donors of the charities fell about this? Are current controls on charities’ political involvement and campaigning working well?

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54 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I think many here, including myself, have been very much against government getting involved in charities and charitable causes. It has swayed the political debate to the ground in which the Left like to fight on. The so called; “What about the children ?”

    They appeal to the emotional and not the rational side of the brain. The part that men do not use as much as women and tends lead to some poor decisions. A case in point is Chancellor Merkel’s decision to allow well over a million, mostly men, to enter her country and, then demand that others resettle them. In her mind, it is OK to ask other EU member countries to help with the redistribution of immigrants, but not OK to redistribute Germany’s wealth to help other EU Citizens. A point lost on many !

    Because we have outsourced our law making to a foreign supranational government there is very little for our MP’s to do. So in order to make both themselves seem busy and relevant, they embark on schemes that take them more and more into our daily lives and, into areas such as charitable giving. Perhaps outside the EU things will change and we can go on with our lives knowing that these people are too busy with the job they were actually employed to do. /sarc !!!!

    What is of great concern to me though, is the NGO’s and their behaviour. I think this really does need to be looked at both nationally and internationally. To me they are acting against the interests of the nation state and its people, whilst using the peoples own money to do it. That is why India and Russia have banned them and Italy wants to deny ports to them. NGO’s are a bad thing and hide a darker more sinister side to the State and its involvement in things – nudge, nudge, wink , wink 😉

    PS Do try not to hold this one up in moderation please. Thanks !

    🙂

    • Prigger
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Mark B
      A thoughtful Comment. Thorough. Polite to JR. He shows due courtesy to MPs who believe in giving our money away.
      But as a voter I do not respect MPs or Councillors or barely “elected” people in Housing Associations and ALMOs who decide that things such as a tenants’ rent money or taxes are okay for them to distribute to charities they favour.

      My main point is Mark B that you are being overly polite by length of Comment and thoroughness and expressed demonstated intelligence to persons who effectively are stealing our money and giving it away. Smack hand!

    • forthurst
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      At least two British based ‘charities’ are involved in the trafficking of ‘migrants’ into Europe; consequently, it is not clear that public money should be going to these organisations or that what they are doing is even legal.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      PS Do try not to hold this one up in moderation please. Thanks !

      Self important much?

      • Mark B
        Posted July 29, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        I follow the rules. Do not put multiple post up, usually making the same statements as before which have little to do with the subject, and yet, I am stuck in moderation until the debate is moved on. Oh, and I am not the only one !

        But thank you for giving me this opportunity to reply.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted July 29, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          @ MarkB

          The length of your original post would, on a busy day, see you held in moderation until the moderator has time to view it properly. Many of your posts are thought provoking but they are not brief.

          There are stated operating conditions yet you still regularly complain that your views are not released earlier.

          Why are you more worthy than others?

          And yes others do post too often and off topic for this user’s taste.

  2. eeyore
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I’m grateful to JR for his explanation of why the charitable sector has become an alternative career structure for Left-wing politicians. Sometimes it seems no less lucrative than a big business directorship.

    This doesn’t feel at all right to me. It hijacks the moral authority of charity for political ends. I no longer give to large charities with political links.

    • Hope
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Yes, Blaire also infected the recruitment of every public sector selection processes, including the judiciary. The question is what has the Tory party done over the last seven years to change the huge swing to the left in all public sector bodies?

      My view is every time Labour goes further left the Tories follow. Corbyn should not be a surprise to your party, you allowed it. This far right narrative is a smear/joke to prevent conservatism. There is no centre or centre right party other than UKIP.

      Self serving greedy MPs again putting themselves first for second jobs, jobs after leaving office, Lords to boost pension of MPs and cronies. Do something about it instead of this whining.

      • Hope
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        The simple answer is there is no need of charities or govt involvement with them if overseas aid continues its wasteful purpose.

    • oldtimer
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      It is close to becoming a racket. It certainly appears to be a system of outdoor relief for ex Labour MPs and for Labour party members and supporters. And several of the large, high visibility charities have become overtly political in their campaigning and public statements. In consequence these NGOs have acquired undue influence over public debate and policy through such close political connections and their ability and knowledge of how to work the lobby system and the passage of legislation through parliament.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      See also the family/celebrity charitable foundations that Osborne,when first appointed chancellor,was going to tackle because some were little more than a tax dodge.Until he was warned off.

  3. Spratt
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I am a trustee of a small charity that is struggling to keep going. It provides social activities and advocacy support for a very marginalised group of disabled people. There is a small staff using a very shabby office in an unpleasantly run down area and a lot of volunteers. Ironically, as big charities have had increasing money from the state, local authority grants to charities such as ours dried up completely in the late 90s. It might have been different if we were a gender or ethnicity based group. Our local council would like us to provide what they call ‘day opportunities’ to severely disabled adults as they are closing their own provision (which was inadequate anyway following a long history of closures). However, they are prepared to pay so little per hour (via direct payments) that we can only afford to do this for people whose disabilities are relatively mild and for a couple of hours a week (as recruiting volunteers is difficult).
    I donate to several charities and have wondered why one of the big ones (Save the Children) to whom I have donated a couple of hundred via direct debit for over 25 years never, ever contacts me, even with the Christmas gift catalogue. I suspected it was because they didn’t want to risk me remembering that I was giving to them and stopping the debit but now I wonder if it is because they are getting so much money they don’t really care about small donors.

  4. sm
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Briefly, I believe major charities are losing the respect of many because of these changes.

    I was a volunteer for many years at a shop run by a major children’s charity, but left when it became apparent that money was being spent on modernisation (of the premises) because the management’s budget had to be spent before the end of the year in case they lost out in the following year’s allocation. Then local facilities for the very children the charity was established to care for were closed, much of the land sold off for private housing and a major rebuild of the charity’s headquarters; however, the charity was taking on government contracts….

    • Hope
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      What happens to trade deals with other countries if the U.K. Is still trapped in the EU by Hammond’s plan to keep us in?

      Rudd announces a non actionable keep everything as it is plan for immigration. Did she think we not spot that it has taken her over a year to appoint a commission that is already in existence and not necessary. Her plan is to review what is already in place! ProductivityJR! Immigration is simple it is based on an Australian point system according skills and jobs available in the U.K. Not freedom of movement at the EU behest or Hammond’s wish. Your party is getting closer to the electorate cliff edge every day.

      What has she done to secure our borders, stop criminals walking in and out our country putting our lives in peril? Sweet FA it seems from her speech about nothing.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Many so call charities are really nothing of the sort. They often become government propaganda outfits or political preasure groups. Usually demanding ever more government action and money for this or that. Many are also unfair competition to normally taxed and funded businesses.

    I would severely restrict tax relief and government grants for these organisations and control, very closely, what does and does not qualify as charitable activity. I would also consided limiting the tax relief of charities where they are clearly more of a professional business with tax breaks than a charity.

  6. Dave Andrews
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Grants often come with strings attached, and this is a good idea for charities. Donors don’t appreciate their donations paying for management and business training for charity organisation staff; they hope they go to the front line work. However this side of a charity’s activities is a legitimate requirement.
    Government can contribute to the work of charities by giving grants that the charities can use specifically for staff training purposes. Let the people support the charities in their running costs and the government contribute to keep them professional.
    I would like more of the governments social work burden to be put out to the charities.

  7. Duncan
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    We are all aware that the charitable sector has become part of Labour’s client state. Even the word ‘charity’ has been disembowelled by Labour and their allies.

    The Tories have been outflanked on so many fronts it shames them. The charitable sector is one area where this is also evident. This sector has become overtly political in nature and overtly anti-Tory

    I blame the Conservatives for the politicisation of many things. They have capitulated to the left. They have surrendered pivotal areas of human activity to the left. Education, health and charity have always been vulnerable to left wing influence and the Conservatives have failed to protect them from this political infection

    When MT was stabbed in the back by that unspeakable individual I refuse to name it became obvious that the Tories would move left. Would sacrifice the important ideals of individualism, individual responsibility, the sanctity of the private sphere.

    The charitable sector is simply another tentacle of Labour’s client state. It is openly abused by Labour insiders. Picking up large salaries, pensions etc while masquerading as whiter than white philanthropists. These people are nothing more than profiteers on the backs of those in real need

    I point the finger not at Labour, because Labour do what they have always done (behave despicably for political gain without a shred of shame), but at the Tories for not confronting them, challenging them and destroying their ability to infect almost every aspect of society (the BBC, education, health, charity)

    • anon
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      Web search
      david-miliband-earns-425000-year-head-refugee-charity-international-rescue-

  8. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Quite simply government should not be granting taxpayers’ funds to charities.

    Someone wrote yesterday that when government match funds donations we end up paying twice. I often do not want to pay once. Especially as written above that due to the bureaucracy required to obtain grants these charities now feel the need to overpay executives to retain and recruit talent.

    Charities should be funded by donations or commercial activity and not taxpayer largesse making politicians feel good.

  9. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    “It now seems timely to ask what benefits has all this brought to users of these services and to taxpayers? ”

    The changes politicised charities, which was the aim of labour – every single one seems to support labour in one way or another…. but that’s not why the whole thing should be reveresed.

    As you say JR, people running charities now get huge salaries – the whole thing about charities is that they are in it now for the money – it is no longer about charity, it is business.

    I no longer support charities that spit out socialist dogma and put bigger demands on the actual charity workers, those that give their time for free, to work within strict guidelines and greater demands, while the ceo walks away with a big packet.

    (eg left out)

    The status of charities should be reverted to their original purpose…>/b> as something anybody can do, without the pressure and certainly without being aligned to a political party!

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I would tent to more towards taxing all organisation the same and get rid of unfair competition such as the free at the point of use NHS or Education, subsidised housing, the tax funded BBC propaganda outfit, so called “charties” and similar.

    Lower simpler taxes for all would be a far better approach. With vouchers for education or health care that people can use (and can top up as they wish). Thus leaving people free to choose and all free to compete on a level playing field.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      ‘Lower simpler taxes for all would be a far better approach’

      – I’m for as low tax as possible for personal reasons, but this isn’t necessarily the best approach. Evidence shows that people, in general, will work hard as long as tax doesn’t go beyond 49% (in other words taxation is really about psychology not politics or economics).

      We need to be willing to tax up to 49% at certain times, e.g. bringing down national debt, but realistically, in good times, i’d love to see taxation come down way below 49% – down into the 30’s if possible. But we’ve got to leave out options open.

      (And don’t forget the relatively high taxation in Nordic countries, Netherlands and Germany and they all have strong economies). At end of day, our country is far more than tax and income important as these are.

      • ian wragg
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Yes Ed but the countries you mention don’t waste money on pointless projects like the UK government.
        Sweden is fast becoming third world and of course Norway has a vast national investment fund which will see the population looked after for decades.
        We spent our oil revenue on benefits and failed to use it to modernise both infrastructure and manufacturing.
        Whilst we continue to piss £billions on foreign aid, Brussels divorce payments, HS2 and Hinckley point, we should resist all efforts to increase taxation.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted July 29, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Ian,
          Having said what i said about taxation, the other half of the coin is that we need to encourage/get the work shy to work more, and thus bring down cost of social services and NHS (being out of work causes physical and mental problems), and so bring down taxation for all (as well as national debt, and reduce immigration). And of course we need to stop Labour getting into power as they spend tax payers money as if it grows on trees …

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        I’d prefer a different approach:

        – Cut government spending to the bone;

        – become a country with a small adequate government;

        – make daily life cheaper for all, by removing taxes on things we need on a daily basis;

        – switch more taxation to VAT, primarily on luxury good;

        – allow big companiesd to be responsible for the health of their employees, reducing burden on NHS

        – do away with PAYE and tax companies by headcount, reduce army of tax collectors.

        I don’t believe we should set arbitrary tax rates, they should simply be as low as possible.

  11. Richard1
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    The charitable sector has been extensively suborned by a leftist political agenda – thanks for making it clear, which I had always suspected, that this was due to clear policy under New Labour. Yet another item to add to the long list of subversive damage caused by the Blair-Brown government. These days you need to be very cautious of giving money to any major charity – many derive most of their income from the state (can they really therefore be said to be ‘charities’?) and pursue an openly political agenda, often under the broad headings of ‘climate change’ or ‘equality’. Better to give to smaller charities with no big institutional structure, no public political platform, and where you know who is running it and who’s doing what.

    Charities deriving significant income from the state should be given a clear timetable either to become part of the civil service and stop requesting and receiving private donations or to cease receiving state money. Any charity using its platform for express political campaigning should have its charitable status removed and be required to operate like any other political party or pressure group.

  12. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The problem in the UK is that there is a lack of real patriotism (cheap flag-waving nationalism isn’t real patriotism).
    We shouldn’t have to depend on the State getting involved in charity, but it does, because of a lack of charity (not saying there is no charity, there’s lots, but more is needed for the State not to be involved so much).

    Could be achieved if we focused more on patriotism. True patriotism:
    1) Challenges poorer end of society to work hard, not be envious of the rich, live healthy lives (costing NHS less), and not put strain on police and social services, which would cost the State far less.
    2) Challenges richer end of society to treat their workers well, pay their taxes without complaining, not look down their noses, and not being greedy costing country in terms of boom and bust.
    Real patriotism would mean that people are more charitable to each other in general, in every day life, not just to the vulnerable—because they love their country!

    The real problem is that people don’t love (really love) their country enough. Cheap flag-wagging / braggadocio is not real patriotism but a form of insecurity. Perhaps, people don’t really understand enough what real patriotism is?

    But patriotism covers so much more: building public buildings and streets as beautiful as we can, preserving our countryside, supporting the arts in general, supporting our armed forces, the Anglican Church (I’m not Anglican but believe in preserving the beautiful medieval churches and the social, moral and liturgical work the vicars do helping to glue society) and the Crown, and so on.

    Our country has so many debates about this and that, but if we had proper patriotism in our country (the kind espoused by people such as St Thomas Aquinas, Dante, and others from the Medieval period who developed the virtue of patriotism – love of country, but not blind, fanatical, unreflective patriotism, then so many of our problems would be solved—we would then live in a country that would be materially well-off / comfortable / stable but much more importantly, a country with soul, and the right kind of spirit.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      Also, if people believe in the Divine, then the fruits of real patriotism won’t just be reflected in our world now – but in some shape or form for all eternity.

      Patriotism isn’t the only virtue. There are many. But it’s an important one. And it’s exciting to think that we’re like goldsmiths helping The Master Goldsmith to forge this world (our country as well as creation in general) into something beautiful, precious, strong. There will be challenges along the way, with lots of sparks flying but that’s good as long as we contribute to creating something better. And that has real meaning as it will, please God, last for ever.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        ‘And that has real meaning as it will, please God, last for ever’

        – cheap flag-waving nationalism and anti-patriotism, leaves nothing permanent in our country, only insecurity and or/chaos. And then it – life – is all over way too soon, and what was the point to it all? It’s all much ado about nothing. Real patriotism isn’t about strutting and fretting this hour on the stage but doing something of real value whose fruits can be seen now, but above all, for all eternity.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Government should not be giving money to charities at all full stop.

    I have worked as a volunteer member of our Local lions Club for the last 27 years.

    As a member, along with all other members, I pay a yearly fee to belong to this organisation, (the largest voluntary service organisation in the World with over 1,500,000 members) and those fees pay all of the Clubs administrative expenses, including meeting rooms.

    Thus all money we raise through our fundraising activities (less the actual expense for putting on those activities) goes into our charity account for later distribution to where it is needed, with 90% being local based.

    Lions Clubs are are not alone in this regard, Rotary, Round Table and others operate in a similar manner.

    Thus I regard our Club and all others like us, as a true charity, where all people involved either give their time for free, or pay for the privilege.
    We give of our time because we simply want to try and put something back into society, by helping those who are in real need, or have been unfortunate enough to fall through the so called safety net of social care.

    Before people give or are pressured to give money or help to any organisation, I can only suggest they do little research beforehand.

    We do not need new “Big Society ideas from Government”, as we have been part of exactly that for decades, without any help from Government.

    I my view a charitable organisation needs to be redefined.

  14. Pat
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that politicians give taxpayer’s money to charities so that the politicians look generous. It does fool some people.
    However, the taxpayer has no say in the matter.
    Giving taxpayer’s money away to whatever cause a politician likes is a form of theft, just as if a charity collector picked your pocket, however good a cause they think it is.
    Furthermore, at present the government is borrowing to get the money. It is stupid for a deeply indebted organisation with income less than expenditure to borrow money and give it away.
    Hence stop all Government donations to charities. Where the “charity” is providing a service deemed for the public good, continue that as with any other private supplier.
    Indeed I wonder about tax relief for charity in general. If someone gives money to charity why should he be relieved of any part of the obligation to fund those things the general public deem necessary?

    • Man of Kent
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Quite agree !

  15. formula57
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    In this context, let us recall the disgrace that was the Kids Company and especially Mr. Cameron’s decision to overrule civil service advice by throwing good money after bad. The government and charity marriage does not seem to work well.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I was reminded, seeing The Spectator’s review of a new theatre production “The Committee”(aka Kids Company-the musical),that in late 2015 two inquiries were set up to investigate this travesty-one by the Official Receiver,the other by the Charities Commission.

      Surprise,Surprise,neither has seen the light of day.

      Perhaps our host could ask for a progress report.

  16. agricola
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    There are charities and businesses posing as charities. Any organisation that can afford very expensive TV advertising and bloated executive salaries is a business not a charity. The fact that government use them to spread our Overseas Aid on dubious causes around the World just makes government complicit. Government should be standing up in the UN, naming countries and haranguing them for not supplying their people with clean water, medical services and failing to protect rhinos as an example.

    Most charities gain cash from the general public by spreading guilt as a form of blackmail and should be stopped.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      agricola,

      I agree with your sentiments regarding charities spreading guilt and resorting to blackmail to raise money. Gone are the days when an elderly volunteer would arrive on the doorstep with a collection tin requesting a donation. I, like most people, would have donated my loose change and be given a sticker. Now, a professional arrives on the doorstep, with a gaudy ID badge around his or her neck, which is thrust into your face! However he/she is not after loose change! Direct debits are the order of the day!

      Only yesterday I was doorstepped by a professional from a well-known charity. I said early on that there was no way I would not be setting up a direct debit, but the youngish, working age, ‘gentlemen’ persisted. I told him that there were 165 registered charities in the UK and further near million that fell short of registration. Therefore, I could not even afford to give 10p to each one! I informed him that my charities of choice were the Blind, the Deaf, and the local Air Ambulance.

      He then told me of the good work his charity was doing at Grenfell Tower (guilt/blackmail). Meeting my dead bat, he still persisted, saying that if I set up a DD and found later that I couldn’t afford it, I could always cancel! Big deal! – This would suggest that charity salespersons are on commission!

      • Doug Powell
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, wrong figure – should have read 165,000 registered charities!

  17. Epikouros
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Charities who receive funding from the government instantly become motivated to indulge in politics to ensure that this new source of funding becomes perpetual. Woe be upon any political party that even suggests funds should be cut or even reduced. Rights and privileges once bestowed are only ever removed by overcoming fierce and sometimes violent opposition. Act in haste and repent at leisure and we so frequently do. So much especially of government policies and actions follow this cycle. Most motivated by good intentions but generally without adequate thought as to the consequences.

    Sentiment and ideology are the driving forces of charities. They see perceived injustices or situations that do not meet their moral standards or human conditions that they see as below acceptable levels and attempt to address them. With mixed, limited and sometimes negative success. Other factors such as free trade and enterprise based on pragmatism and the profit motive often deplored by the likes of charitable organisation have considerable greater success in improving human conditions and not at taxpayers expense. Certainly charities have a role to play even if it is only to salve the conscience of the giver and/or give them a feel good factor.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      It was particularly cringe-making that Michael Gove recently chose to display his new found green inner self to a range of big NGO’s – WWF etc

  18. Ed Hirst
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It is possible to find out on the internet which charities employ Common Purpose graduates in senior positions. I have used this information to discontinue any donations to charities with this political connection, and redirect money to more genuine organisations.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    There should be no grants to charities, which should rely on voluntary, charitable, donations and not on money extracted by the state as taxes under the threat of imprisonment.

    If a charity receives any public funds then it should lose its status as a charity.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Agreed !

    • Atlas
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Denis.

  20. Man of Kent
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    A couple of years ago I looked at the Annual Report and Accounts of Christian Aid when headed by Archbishop Rowan .

    Government donations were then some 25% of all income ,coincidentally the same as the wages and salaries bill.

    I was concerned that the charity was immoral for not allowing any fossil fuelled power stations in the third world under its aegis; just ‘renewables ‘ allowed .

    Yesterday I tried to find an up to date figure on line for WWF , Greenpeace , Christian Aid without success . The headline income and expenditure totals are given but government donations are included under ‘Voluntary Donations ‘

    I have not succeeded in accessing the detailed pages with the ‘revealing ‘ notes . Nor their aims which used to set out what they were doing on ‘climate change ‘

    Cover up or my poor internet skills ?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      Any grants will be assigned to individual restricted funds in the trustees report each of which can be downloaded from the Charity Commission website if not the charity’s own website. Wasteful yes transparent yes

  21. Man of Kent
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Just finished reading ‘The Warden ‘ by Trollope .
    An account of church charity in Victorian times .
    A quick relevant read – just 200pp !

  22. Bert Young
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    No government has the right to spend taxpayers money without their prior consent ; I am livid about support given to institutions that I would not give to voluntarily . The abuse that subsequently occurs with some of these recipients is scandalous ; once they have got the cash they know that supervision of how they dispense and use their funds is almost impossible .

    The only simple solution is to stop any support from government funds completely and immediately .

  23. Christine
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I now only give to small local charities. Huge multi-national charities have just become a gravy train for ex politicians and the lefties. They then take it upon themselves to become a political mouthpiece. Look at the WWF who receive 10 million a year from the EU then preach to us to remain in the EU. What has it to do with them? Other NGOs are involved in the people trafficking into Europe by ferrying migrants from the coast of Libya to Italy. The only way to stop all this abuse is to stop giving them money. We give enough in foreign aid, why add to it by also giving them tax-payers money by way of tax relief. The Telegraph has done some good articles about the charitable foundations set up by ex-high ranking World politicians and the dubious donations they receive. Just go on the internet and read about them.

  24. Pragmatist
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    There should be a transitional period lasting no more than two years. Mr Hammond would possibly argue for a one hundred years transitional period. After that date any MP voting to give our money to Charity should be jailed and after a transitional period of two years released back into the Community subject to an assessment ( not conducted by Rudd, she will not be an MP by then )

  25. hefner
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I would hope people will have a look at
    apps.charitycommission.gov.uk
    and/or http://www.gov.uk for
    Recent charity register statistics: Charity Commission.
    Search the charity register.
    or the 2012 “Britain’s top 1000 charities ranked by donations” on the http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog
    before embarking on comments.

    The UK charity situation is extremely complex. Private entities (clearly politically-biased think tanks of the left and right) are often masquerading as charities, and the richest charities are not always the most obvious ones as one would think from advertisements in newspapers, TV, (junk) mail, …

  26. Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I take the view that if a charity receives more than, say, 10% of it’s income from a single source, it is not a charity.
    Whether a charity should accept a state contract to carry out certain work is a matter of argument, I would oppose the idea.

    I also feel that a lot are ‘fake charities’, set up with state funding, often through a state organisation such as the NHS, to press a particular point of view. Usually it is those whose website gives no detailed indication as to their sources of funding.
    This was started by the Blair government as a means of pushing policies that they wanted but didn’t want to be too closely associated with, so they set up a so-called charity whose aim was to push the policy instead. Where do the charities who want to ban smoking, reduce salt and sugar consumption get their funding? It’s not obvious from their sites.

    I only give money to charities which are open about their funding, don’t pay huge sums to their chief executives or employ fund raisers. I prefer local charities which frequently have no paid employees. The local dog’s rescue is typical. The only people who get paid are a local vet for his professional services and the farmer who owns the land where the kennels are. This is a real charity, the money is all spent on the care and feeding of the dogs apart from an occasional advert in the local paper.

  27. Richard Roney
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    It is in my view wholly wrong for the Government to use money raised through taxation to make payments of any kind to a charity. Such payments corrupt both the Government and the charities involved. It gives rise to the politicisation of charities, leads to money wasted on huge salaries and incessant lobbying. Taxpayers who wish to support a particular charity should be encouraged to do so through the tax system. (As far as I understand it the US version is rather better at this than the Brownite UK version.) This way the charity has to remain mindful of the desires of its donors and the Government need make no compact with charities that many taxpayers do not wish to support.

  28. anon
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Why give to charity when the goverment extorts money to pay for “overseas aid”,” eu aid”. Charity should be local, visible and transparent.

  29. Peter
    Posted July 29, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    No to state sponsored agitprop.

    This covers much so-called charity and the conservative government funds it as well as Labour.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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