Having run two charities and as someone who opposes this outrageous and damaging Government you might expect me join the baying crowd. But I’m not so sure. Firstly we have the millionaire philanthropists complaining that this will make them donate less. So what they are saying is that they don’t really make donations out of “a love of humanity” (the meaning of philanthropy) but to reduce their tax bill. The vast majority donors don’t know about tax reliefs or indeed claim them.
The second issue which concerns me is that ‘charity’ is seen as a good thing, however not all charities are equal. Yes they include many fantastic organisations but also Eton College and other private schools. Ironically my donating to Eton you can reduce the amount you pay for state schools, charitable?
Charities have been used to channel funds to political parties and some have been specifically set up to hide money from the taxman (Private Eye is good enough a source for me). The Charity Commission which oversees the sector has not been untouched by the cuts.
Philanthropy has great traditions and supports some great work but should it really be a mechanism for avoiding the taxes which pay for health, education and other social services/
A background report on charitable giving can be found here