Hundreds of organisations will be eligible for the funds, which are aimed at groups offering advice and support to people who have lost their home or job, or who are suffering in any way as a result of the recession.Needless to say, the likes of Shelter and the NSPCC are in the front of the queue, while whining that it isn’t enough to keep all their executives in comfort:
The money follows job cuts at household names including Shelter and the NSPCC, and amid warnings that one in three charities is expected to lay off more staff in the coming months.Mark Wadsworth wonders if, when the economic situation improves, they’ll give it back?
Though campaigners yesterday welcomed the fund, it is less than a tenth of the £500m the charities sought at crisis talks three months ago, and far below their more recent request for £100m to keep vital services alive.
And just why should the government fund charities anyway, regardless of the economic situation? As LFaT points out, the private sector is having to trim its staff costs according to the economic climate, why should charities not do the same?
Well, because those charities increasingly act as arms of government, advancing policies they want to encourage and lobbying for things the government itself wants to put on the agenda.
In desperation, the government is evoking the ‘spirit of the Blitz’ to cover this up:
Announcing the plan, Liam Byrne, the Cabinet Office Minister, will say: “The best of the British spirit is the way we pull together when times are tough. And it is Britain’s charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises that so often make that happen.Because if they appear in the ‘volunteer roster’, they won’t be counted as ‘unemployed’?
“We are launching a laser-targeted package of help, with tens of millions extra for charities providing employment advice, mental health and family support services in the most deprived areas of England and Wales, plus millions extra to help those out of work start volunteering. ”
“Britain can beat this downturn, just like we’ve beaten everything else this world has thrown at us in the decades gone by. But we’ll win by pulling together. Not by facing the storm alone.”The problem being, Liam, that during the Blitz, the public stood shoulder to shoulder with the government against the enemy.
Increasing, we view the government as the enemy…