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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Pressure on Fake Charities

It is sad but instructive that it is not the government but the IEA that is leading a new campaign against fake charities - a genre of tax consumption first brought to prominence by Chris Mounsey on his DK blog.

Whitehall and Westminster still find these abominations too convenient. The contrived 'pressure' brought by fake campaign groups actually funded by the departments they pretend to lobby too frequently leads to ill considered and poorly supported legislation that happens to fit with the narrow obsessions of a particular minister or mandarin. 

The Fake Charities were an easy win for Cameron in 2010; four years on and he's done nothing. Yet again, it will be public pressure bearing directly on MPs that will be the impetus for change. 


Weekend Yachtsman said...

"...public pressure bearing directly on MPs..."

I don't think this is at all a bad thing per se.

Is it not in fact a return to the way things are supposed to work?

At best this could be the beginning of the end of the party system - but I am not holding my breath.

Sceptical Steve said...

Another crucial role for the fake charities is that they also provide crucial employment opportunities for one-time student activists before they are permitted to join the political elites. Justanother example of the politcal classes looking after their own...

Anonymous said...

There used to be a good website which still exists but is woefully under maintained and out of date.

This is their definition of what constitutes a fake charity:

"We define a Fake Charity as any organisation registered as a UK charity that derives more than 10% of its income—and/or more than £1 million—from the government, while also lobbying the government. That lobbying can take the form of calling for new policies, changes to the law or increases in (their own) funding".

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

And from the other side of the coin, The Times today reports "The names of more than a dozen charities suspected of serious abuse are being kept secret by the charity watchdog.
The identities of 13 charities placed under statutory inquiry during the past nine months have been withheld by the Charity Commission, preventing prospective donors from knowing about the allegations against them.
The inquiries are opened into charities suspected of only the most serious wrongdoing, including the financing of terrorism, tax avoidance, abuse of vulnerable people or other serious breaches of trust."
Samizdata queries the inclusion of 'tax avoidance' in that list.

Anonymous said...

Does Greenpeace have charitable status?

Tom said...

I'll second the comment about the woeful state of - I'd pay a sub to have it maintained :-)

Political outfits are ducking VAT on their activities via the Charidee game...

Where are the HMRC dawn raiders when you actually need em eh?

Anonymous said...

'Does Greenpeace have charitable status?'
Answer: No

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Forgive me, but what public pressure?

The public appear oblivious to the most obvious defects in the present system of democracy under which we live, so what chance is there of their even noticing something like fake charities?

The political class have excelled themselves in their wish to dumb down those they would have us believe they serve.

Devil's Kitchen said...

"'Does Greenpeace have charitable status?'
Answer: No"

Actually, I believe that Greenpeace's charitable status was only repealed in New Zealand. In that country, charities are still banned from political campaigning—our similar law was repealed by the New Labour government.

And thank you, Raedwald, for the acknowledgment—although others have taken "fake charities" and run with it beautifully. I keep on saying that this concept is my only lasting contribution to political discourse—other than to make it coarser!