Some might argue that with £200 billion spent on welfare each year (up in real terms from around £150 billion seven years ago) there is little need for a voluntary sector. However, the government gives over £11 billion pounds each year to the voluntary sector. This sector grew enormously under the last government and is largely staffed by Guardian reading labour voters who use tax payer money to campaign against government policy. Isn’t the voluntary sector supposed to rely on donations? Some “charities” get over 90% of their funds from the state. Doesn’t that make them part of the public sector?
Many of them have been campaigning vigorously against the proposed cap of £26,000 in benefits – a cap that is wholeheartedly supported across the country and which many people think should be lower. Maybe it’s self-interest. If you reduce the numbers of people reliant on handouts then you are reducing their clients. One piece of information shows how far some have lost their way from their original noble intentions. At some point the definition of homelessness has been changed to include families where children have to share a bedroom. Why? This is common in many homes. Including it undermines the cause for real homelessness – a horrible, miserable experience – that should rightly be prevented. This real homelessness has declined in recent years but far from charities congratulating themselves on doing a good job and winding down their operations they have continued to grow by expanding their remit to include as many people as possible.
It’s time to remove tax-payer funding from this sector. The money saved can be given in tax cuts, giving the public some extra change to donate to those groups who truly do a worthwhile job.