evil rich people are avoiding tax by giving their money to charities. We know this because George Osborne told us so, and apparently he’s read some tax returns from some very evilrich people. Apparently giving money away is one of the top three ways of avoiding tax, along with (wait for it) making a loss in a business(i.e. not earning money, therefore not needing to be taxed).
When pressed as to why people giving money away to good causes is a bad thing, we are told that some of these charities are well dodgy, and therefore it is “aggressive” tax avoidance. Speaking as someone who knows a little about what is involved in keeping the charitable status of a couple of organizations, I can ensure you that the sort of charities to which private individuals subscribe are pretty much all as ligit as you can possible get.
However, that isn’t to say that we don’t have a problem with dodgy charities in the UK. We do. But it’s not private money that funds them – no, the government pays them our tax money.
Consider for example the British Film Institute (charity 287780). 2010 income £43 million, of which £21 million was direct funding from Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Or Alcohol Concern(291705), which is 58.8% funded by the Department of Health (and exists mostly to, guess what, lobby the Department of Dealth). What about Bexley Council for Racial Equality (256961), which in 2009 received £171,026 of public money, and exactly £0 in donations from the public.
Even better, CarbonNeutral North East(1113310), which was disbanded in late 2008, after the treasurer was found to be embezzling from the £400,000 of government funding that had been given it…
The amount of money that is siphoned from public funds to organizations that often amount to little more than pressure groups to lobby government is truly shocking. If we are to have a cap on charitable donations, then it needs to apply to governments and not just private donors. What we have at the moment appears to me to be a thinly veiled attempt to nationalize the whole charitable sector.