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Public sick of large charities wasting money, MPs hear

Public sick of large charities wasting money, MPs hear
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Public sick of large charities wasting money, MPs hear 5

Finance | Vibeka Mair | 28 Nov 2012

The public is sick of large charities frittering away money and of being harassed by chuggers, Christopher Snowdon of the Institute of Economic Affairs told the Public Administration Select Committee yesterday.

Snowdon, a research fellow at the Institute, was giving evidence to the PASC as part of its inquiry into charity regulation. 

Snowdon said people were aware of an “enormous disparity with the richest one per cent of charities getting two-thirds of money in the sector”.

“Anyone who’s worked in large charities or knows someone who has thinks that the money is rather frittered away,” he said.

Snowdon also told MPs that he sensed people were sick of being harassed by chuggers, saying it was something that needed to be looked at. Later in the session Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke suggested that chugging should be “stamped out by Parliament” calling it an "infestation of modern life".

Snowdon, who earlier this year wrote a report on lobbying called Sock Puppets: How the government lobbies itself and why, also told MPs that it was wrong for charities to get government grants to lobby the government itself or the public.

“I sense that the public are getting a little frustrated that every time there is a move to raise taxes or restrict liberties some enormous charity is doing the legwork with media, adverts and Parliamentary briefings,” he said.

Carl Allen
28 Nov 2012

Today three men from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home came uninvited and unwelcomed to the neighbourhood hoping for donations.

After today no-one from Battersea Cats and Dogs Home will be coming.

John Marshall
CEO
Centrepoint Outreach
28 Nov 2012

Snowdon and Elphicke are about right! Example: Today we received a mailing from a large charity asking us as a small charity to donate to them! The cheek of it! It happens quite regularly. A wasted junk mailshot!!
I strongly dislike being stopped by chuggers in the High Street - asking for my personal details. It should be banned!!

Coops
28 Nov 2012

Perhaps someone should submit the Institute of Economic Affairs to the Fake Charities website http://fakecharities.org/

Oh the irony

Mr Paul Gibson
National Charity Specialist
Mazars LLP
28 Nov 2012

Who knows which individuals, corporations or trusts fund the Institute of Economic Affairs?

I'll check George Monbiot's analysis of their transparency.

I'm concerned at the level of attention which the government pays to their work.

Harmit Kambo
Learnnig & Development Manager
Sheila McKechnie Foundation
28 Nov 2012

When the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) published their Sock Puppets ‘research’, I assumed it would receive little attention. It presented no evidence at all for strident claims that Government is funding charities to lobby itself.

And yet it was one of few reports the Government referenced in their recent consultation on the Charities Act review, and the were invited to give evidence to the PASC.

The report has received widespread criticism from a range of bodies, including the Charity Finance Group, who said it showed “a complete lack of understanding of civil society”.

There is also something ironic about all this. IEA are themselves a registered charity lobbying Government about how charities should not be lobbying Government!

There is certainly debate to be had about state funding of charities, and the ability of those charities to then speak out against or indeed lobby Government. But there is nothing that has come from the IEA that suggests they have any useful evidence to contribute to that debate.

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