April 11, 2012

Politicians v charities

Osborne certainly knows how to shovel muck over the coalition: Grannies ... pasties .... His ministerial colleagues - who say they want to encourage the construction sector - have taken up the baton and offered us a tax on conservatories and boilers (together with the extra bureaucracy, which won't come free). And now it's Osborne against charities.

The charities have their own snappily titled campaign with a website. Who are people going to support, Cancer research or a Conservative chancellor? As with the granny tax, the public was not softened up for this policy, so the execution has again been cack-handed.

The government alleges that some of the charities are bogus. Some are said to be foreign.

All right, exclude foreign charities from tax relief. What about bogus domestic charities? The Charity Commissioners say they have received no questions or referrals from the government.

Once those loopholes are blocked - and if they are loopholes they should have been blocked anyway - what are the big donors doing wrong? They are still paying their taxes - it's just that they choose to pay the money to charities rather than to government.

It doesn't seem to have occurred to any minister to ask the wealthy why they are doing this. Could it be that they think the chosen charities make better use of their money than the government does?

This ineptly executed policy flies in the face of the Big Society and pits the government against the charity sector, which at a wild guess is rather more highly regarded than the coalition.

Senior ministers' ability to get it wrong is breathtaking. What will they mess up next? Does anyone at The Samaritans offer counselling about political suicide?


Anonymous said...

"They are still paying their taxes - it's just that they choose to pay the money to charities rather than to government."
I think that is the problem - all money belongs to the Government - who know all.

Accept this and you will be happy.

BTW That is not my view.

John Page said...

Yes. Governments should cut their coat according to the cloth that the people are prepared to provide.