Charity Schmarity

The government has told us that we must all give to charity.

Our nationís silver backs have all climbed down from their trees in Westminster, got on the national media and, after a great deal of chest thumping, have told us that we must all give to charity so that their visions can be fulfilled.

Those who already give to charity, no matter how much, must give more.

Those who do not give must start giving. But they are obviously not expected to give to famine relief in the Third World or help anyone in Africa. The visions of our great and glorious democratically elected leaders concern this country and so we all must give to charities which operate in this country.

What kind of charity the individual gives to is up to them. But there will no doubt soon be charities for distressed politicians. There will probably also be one or two to help aspiring young politicians who, without the aid of a charitable foundation, would never be able to make it to Westminster and use their gifts to help our nation.

There is also likely to be charitable foundations to help distressed senior civil servants and maybe also distressed business people who didnít make quite as many billions as they had hoped to and therefore need counselling. (Executives who run these charities and organise the collections will, naturally, expect to be paid a salary that is at least equal to or better than they could expect to receive in a similar job working for a major multinational corporation. Their yearly bonus would also be directly linked to the amount of money they managed to raise to make their charity effective.)

But worst of all is the fact that unlike many other countries, our government offers no tax relief for charitable donations. Not for individuals anyway. Business entities can claim tax relief for what they give to charity, but the average person in the street canít. If youíve read the excellent ĎThe Commanding Heightsí by Daniel Yergin you will see that this new government ploy is nothing but a tax increase. Millions upon millions in this country will do what those above tell them to do and so, my complaints not withstanding, plenty of people will respond to this plea from the silver backs in their Westminster jungle. But at the end of the day, one must ask what is going to happen to all that money, a great deal of which will be completely untraceable?

Do you give to those young men in tube stations with buckets? I donít. If the charity doesnít want to give me a receipt, Iím not giving them anything.

---May 23, 2011---

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