Fake Charities - how we pay to be bullied

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by OldSnowy, Jun 12, 2012.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    A fascinating report (found via Guido Fawkes) has been released on how many Charideees are paid for from our taxes. It seems to be a simple equation:

    1. The Government/Whitehall/Clever People want something to happen. It’s usually something that they consider ‘self evidently’ correct, like banning smoking, or more expensive beer and fags, or a federal Europe.

    2. They fund a charity to press their case.

    3. Said charity is listened to (especially by the media) as it is ‘independent’.

    This stinks. If I want to support a charity I will give them money. Many, many charities are really nothing of the sort. An example from the report:

    “The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) was founded in 1965 by a group of social workers and sociologists who were disturbed that - as they declared in a letter to Harold Wilson – ‘at least half a million children in this country are in homes where there is hardship due to poverty.’ A registered charity since 1986, CPAG now uses a very different measure of deprivation to campaign on behalf of the ‘3.8 million children living in poverty’ - not so much a case of mission creeping as goalpost shifting. CPAG’s work is dominated by calls for progressively larger welfare payments and launching occasionally successful legal test cases. Its policy proposals include increasing the top rate of tax, increasing inheritance tax and giving benefits to illegal immigrants. By the end of the Blair years, it was receiving close to half a million pounds a year from statutory sources, notably HM Revenue and Customs and the Scottish Executive, to provide ‘tax credits publications, advice and training’. This far exceeded the £76,000 it received in donations and legacies”

    And don’t even get me started on the Foreign Aid charities, let alone those paid for by the EU, campaigning for the EU. There’s also a good section on why there are so many charities (paid for by us in taxes) who campaign for things that the vast, vast majority of the population do not want. If that’s democracy, it’s not as I understand it.

    Of more interest to most ARRSERs, though, is that:
    “ ...Amongst the numerous other activist groups which have received significant funding from the state in recent years are Sustain, the Green Alliance, Alcohol Concern, the Women’s Environmental Network, Action on Smoking and Health, the London Sustainability Exchange, Forum for the Future, Consensus Action on Salt and Health, the Fatherhood Institute, the Pesticide Action Network, the Climate Group and the Children’s Rights Alliance for England. A non-exhaustive list of the causes championed by such groups include universal free school meals, flexible working hours, ‘traffic light’ labelling on food, ‘environmental justice’, lowering the voting age to 16 and minimum pricing for alcohol, as well as bans on battery farmed chickens, ‘junk food’ advertising, numerous pesticides, incandescent light bulbs, alcohol advertising, and smoking in private vehicles.”

    - What strikes me in that list is the fact that most of them are ‘progressive’, i.e. something that most sensible people in the UK either dislike, actively hate, or don’t give a toss about. I don’t see any there campaigning for cheaper booze and tabs, more lap dancing clubs, cheaper petrol, and relaxed gun control.

    Why, in these times of no money, pressures on budgets, and defence cuts, does the public sector give money to charities at all?

    How the government uses charities to lobby itself | Institute of Economic Affairs
     
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  2. How are the charities you mention "fake"?
     
  3. Gift Aid, which was discussed in the last budget, means that every charity, like it or not, so long as they fill in the forms is funded by the Tax Payer.

    The talk that it may be restricted, did not go down well with the .........Charity Industry.
     
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  4. Including, presumably, H4H and the RNLI - the bleeding heart, money grubbing, gravy train riding charidee bastards.
     
  5. Because, he alleges, they are simply or largely a front for govt. policy rather than the doing of active, concerned citizens. A phantom demand is thus created for something which the govt can provide, thereby extending its power and influence further into the daily lives of common citizens.
     
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  6. And BLESMA and every other service charity and every other charity, so long as it is registered, regardless of cause.

    There 162,000 registered charities in England and Wales, gross income over GBP52 Billion.

    By way of Gift Aid, like it or not, you are supporting them all, that is assuming you pay tax, good cause or not (in your or my opinion).
     
  7. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    How are they 'fake'? Because they do not rely on the goodwill of people, or the skill of their interlocutors, to raise their funds. They rely on a forced tax paid by every taxpayer, whether they like it or not.

    And - heresy though it might be to somehere - we should include some Service charities in this. There are two things to think about here. Firstly, if you take Govt money you are beholden to them - there is no doubt about that. Secondly, it gets the Government off the hook from doing stuff that they should do - if there was sufficient welfare and medical provision for injured ex-Service personnel, there would be no need for BLESMA, etc, other than to provide things that the Government should not provide. Think of it as the difference, in Service terms, between Public and non-Public funds. Any J1 bod will know that there are essentials - got through the system, and nice-to-haves - got through Welfare.

    The Government (starting in T Blair's time, of course, and continuing today) pays your money to pressure groups to influence youto do things their way. It's not democratic, it's not a sensible use of funds, and it's certainly not efficient.
     
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  8. Well... it depends on what you mean by the word "Charity" dunnit!

    If you use the dictionary defintion "Love of one's fellow" (CED) - that could cover a number of (ahem..) sins! Charity is "one of the theological virtues" and is generally used to describe activities which "assist the poor, sick, or helpless"..

    There is however a popular interpretation of the definition that implies "not for profit" and "non political" organised behaviour.

    The muddying factor is the tax relief that has been granted to these activities, and also the funds that have been granted to these bodies directly form the public purse..

    I think the accusation of "Fake" does stand in cases where "Charities" have been set up to further and influence organised political groupings where the purpose is less to do with the direct relief or support of a needy cause, and more to do with political manoevering and/or funding and employing client organisations. In some cases these seem to be "front" organisations which are able to achieve public funding for what is purely political activity which, in reality, are not what they seem..

    ...but I agree, there is a very blurred line between "genuine" organisations doing good works, and something that could be much more devious and potentially corrupt!
     
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  9. I know a lot of 'charities' within drug services, they are almost always given tenders instead of the NHS because they just don't follow any national guidelines.
    These fake charities feed off public money starting always with vulnerable patients.
    Clinical governance doesn't apply to these companies and they just take a chance that they'll never be inspected.
     
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  10. The much vaunted 'Gun Control Network' was known to be a creation of ACPO, the Home Office and a couple of conniving MP's. It never had any 'membership' yet was given unfettered access to the media and Parliament as 'the voice of the people' on gun control post Dunblane. It had I am reliably informed, just 7 'members' and operated from a PO box.
     
  11. Clearly 'charity' refers to the way the organisation is set up and run. Many charities act as lobby groups rather than benefactors, that doesn't mean that they don't operate in the way prescribed for charities.

    However if any organisation is to be run as a charity then I feel that is should only be by public subscription. If a charity cannot sustain itself from public donations then it clearly isn't supported by enough people or it doesn't come across with the right message.

    All charities should be able to apply for grants of public money if there is money to be had and European money is just as acceptable. However such money should not be given with any political caveats on it although socio-economic or organisational ones are both reasonable and acceptable.

    However for a Government to establish a charity and then virtually maintain it in perpetuity then they should only be allowed to do so where there are no other charities in the same sector. Take the case of CPAG, why when we have the Rowntree Foundation, NSPCC, Shelter, Salvation Army and other charities all working to the same aim? Well, the obvious answer is to create new jobs and if that means duplicated effort and diluted effect then so be it.

    Personally I have no objection to HMG giving huge grants to RBL but the reality is that H4H is allowing the Government to negate its obligations to its own wounded on a wholesale scale.
     
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  12. I'm thinking of putting in a tender for the treatment of NHS junkies myself, I've recently aquired an industrial tree mulcher and a disused coal mine in Silesia.
     
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  13. Charity. The act of giving, a worthy cause and emotional motivator. Fine maybe when you're doing something to benefit someone else. The bloke that walks a hell of a long way in his spare time, collecting funds, before handing them over with a cheery wave and "think nothing of it". Kind of thing. The old Bring and Buy sale, or your old time, long forgotten Jumble Sale. So, selfless acts and the thought that someone will benefit. Difficult to find the business angle. All Old Hat these days. These days big charities dominate the High streets for low rates, Chuggers annoy the hell out of pedestrians all day long, and "Christian" charities of all colours run their projects and their budgets on a shrewd and often hard line business model. Whilst collecting funds and tax relief.

    For those of us who reckon that the beneficiary is king, and that there wouldn't be opportunities without those good deserving causes in the first place, some charity workers seem to forget the reason they exist in the first place: their proclaimed causes and the "clients".

    The Belfast Telegraph had this view in an article, April this year. "What a shame the simple act of giving has been turned into a sport, an entertainment, a telly programme. These days, charity has to give us something back in return for our bucks. Successive governments went along with this notion, giving tax-relief on charitable donations. And as many of us ran out of cash, they increasingly relied on funding a huge part of our education and cultural offerings by making charity hot and sexy". And further.
    "We are told that the building of hospitals, universities and museum extensions will suddenly stop if Osborne has his way. I hope he calls their bluff - rich people always whinge (it's their default reaction, usually issued by their expensive PR agencies) whenever anyone implies that perhaps they could pay a tiny bit more towards the running of Britain".Lower down the income scale, middle-class families have seen a far greater fall in their disposable income. Food prices have risen, the number of women and young people out of work is at an all-time high and we're asked to feel sorry for millionaires? We are told that the building of hospitals, universities and museum extensions will suddenly stop if Osborne has his way. I hope he calls their bluff - rich people always whinge (it's their default reaction, usually issued by their expensive PR agencies) whenever anyone implies that perhaps they could pay a tiny bit more towards the running of Britain.

    Lower down the income scale, middle-class families have seen a far greater fall in their disposable income. Food prices have risen, the number of women and young people out of work is at an all-time high and we're asked to feel sorry for millionaires? Such tosh is written about our 'culture of giving'. The truth is: those who can afford the least already give the most".

    So how many still want to dip their hands in their pocket, these days?

    Read more: Nothing charitable about big tax breaks for the rich - News Analysis, Opinion - Belfasttelegraph.co.uk

    When we've worked for charities marching towards their latest big idea to save something, the idea dawns that actually they're in this for themselves, their own social mobility and profile, their own admins and climbers out for their own ends. Then there are the political game players, bean counters, social workers turned luvvie, and the shameless tarts on the casting couch, sleeping with government. That's the deal, and we seem to get nowhere, if we believe otherwise. The needs of the business come top of the list. I'm also having problems excluding any of the military charities from this.
     
  14. It is very easy to knock charities. However having been on both sides of the fence as a charity auditor & also as volunteer project staff for Raleigh International it’s worth noticing that it is a pretty strongly regulated sector. You might not like what they get up to, but certainly all the big ones operate within the rules.

    It’s more likely to be you & a bunch of mates who fall foul of the Charities Act when you’re collecting to do good works. Ironically it’s this kind of small organisation which probably directs most (as a percentage) of its income to the good cause in question.

    Problem is a lack of scrutiny in the case of these smaller efforts. There’s a pair of pikey brothers in our village who are due a good kicking after they set themselves up collecting for “ver kiddies” but ended up only donating the income to the local boozer & a fruit machine company.
     
  15. Agree with this, why would government give money to a charity so it can build a swimming pool at Headley Court, why not the government just build the damn thing.

    BLESMA is a full fledged charity but has done much lobbying also, in some ways (pun intended) it has shot itself in the foot, by demonstrating that many limbless ex-servicemen can do all manner of extreme activities it has, perhaps, rightly raised the question of when does someone with an extremely technical (and expensive) prosthetic become nearly able again, and if this is the case how much support should he expect from the welfare state.

    But without BLESMA (and many of the newly disabled tend to forget this) the system would be awful, post WW1 and the WW2, BLESMA worked tirelessly to ensure that limbless got even the very basic of care and mobility. And in those days all the money came from private subscription, not a penny from the Government.