Is the current principle of gift aid simply robbing Peter to Pay Paul. In these straightened times when Government borrowing is spiralling out of control does this area need to be reviewed?

Bearing in mind that tax revenues in the system are finite, surely it should all be down to the best use of this resource without one party having a short-fall in order to subsidise the other

Unfortunately, taking any money whatsoever out of the tax system does not mean the underlying Government obligations for spending disappear in relation to the gift aid claims. The result is simply that the Government has to borrow more money to cover the resultant loss in tax revenues and the needs of Welfare, Social Security, NHS, Schools etc. do not evaporate. Unless their funding is covered by increased state borrowing they would inevitably suffer

There is however, a sound argument along the lines that charities are more effective at using the money and better at targeting deserving causes.

Nevertheless, whilst Charity CEO's continue to be paid eye watering salaries and individuals such as Sir Stephen Bubb persist in trying to justify excesses Charity boss defended salaries 60th birthday party funded by donations it really only highlights the issues. With this in mind should the Government consider re-addressing gift aid?

Using that same old canard that everyone trots out to justify their excessive salaries '.. the salaries are competitive to those paid in business and will ensure you get the best people to do the job ..' and then trying to compare Charities with Business in this context. Well in the past with nationalised industries we all saw the CEO's of Water Boards on modest acceptable salaries; once these organisations ceased to be nationalised their CEO salaries went up four-fold - for the same people in the same job?

But that it the whole point, Charities should not be in competition with business on the salaries scale. By all means pay a reasonable salary but not to the detriment of the needy who by definition have less money because the balance has been 'trousered' by those claiming to have the their best interests at heart

Also the incestuous practices of re-circulating funds back into other charities should be reviewed as should all the other little wheezes.

How much additional funding would be available for their causes if CEO's had modest salaries (say £60,000 maximum across the board). Alternatively, have a commensurate reduction in gift aid claims (claw-back) in line with CEO salary levels above this level - on a £1 for £1 reduction basis. This would concentrate the mind wonderfully and it would a choice between CEO salary increases or a increased level of gift aid with more going to their causes!

Perhaps one additional measure of performance should be applied to charities - that of declaring on a £1 basis how much money ends up in the hands of the good causes. 

Let us not forget for one moment the underlying mandate of charities, which is not to feather the lifestyles of their staff, but rather to help those in need!


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