Charities cannot rely on handouts, says aid minister Lynne Featherstone
Charlotte Philby is a writer at The Independent with a weekly column on motherhood in The Independent Magazine. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Cudlipp award for excellence in popular journalism for her undercover investigative work, and writes for various cultural magazines.
Monday 10 December 2012
The Aid minister has called for charities to stop depending on government “handouts” and become more self-sufficient.
The minister for International Development, Lynne Featherstone said that charities needed to be imaginative in seeking new sources of funding because austerity was here for the foreseeable future.
“Charity is amazing but I think it also got too used to Government being the only funder,” said Ms Featherstone, in an interview with The Independent. Organisations needed to be more “active” and look for “other funders to step in perhaps where Government couldn’t do everything”, she said.
Ms Featherstone gave the example of a project in Islington, north London: “I met a woman’s support group who were active. When they looked at the horizon and realised there was no money in a sense, they started asking local businesses to support them, other funders to step in, perhaps.”
The MP for Hornsey and Wood Green added: “The way out of our country’s economic mess that we were left with is growth. It’s to keep austerity, to make sure the markets believe in us.
“If we have economic growth then the 0.7 per cent [Britain’s commitment of its gross national income to foreign aid] won’t be an issue.”
Two out of five charities fear that they may be forced to close because of funding uncertainty, according to a survey by the Charities Aid Foundation, with almost half already forced to dip into their reserves.
Of the 252 charities interviewed, 80 per cent said that the sector faced a crisis if the economic situation did not soon improve.
Paul Rees, executive director at Charities Aid Foundation, said that the Government should be doing more to protect charities. “Charities are a key part of the fabric of our society and provide services we all depend upon, such as hospices, medical research and women’s refuges,” he said.
“However, at a time when demand for their services is higher than ever, donations have slumped and public spending has been substantially cut. That is why we need the Government, business and the public to back Britain’s charities.”
Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
How Homer Simpson discovered the Higgs boson over a decade before scientists
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Harrison Ford plane crash: Star Wars actor 'seriously injured' after light aircraft crash lands
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£400 - £500 per day: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Logistics/WMS - Immedia...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£34000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Bus...
£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning digital age...