Letter: Nation of beggars and fund-raisers

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The Independent Online
Sir: Whatever the result of the election the next government will look more to charities for the delivery of welfare. The "charitisation" of the economy has been a feature of the last 18 years as much as privatisation has been.

The view of the Voluntary Action History Society is that for charities to thrive, a good strong public sector is a base requisite, without which anarchy and waste prevail. The pre-Beveridge lessons are there: charities and hospitals stumbled from financial crisis to crisis, provision was patchy and largely inefficient, and fraud and corruption rife. Today, charities are forced to spend resources in a grossly uneconomical way in the unseemly scramble for funds.

As England reaches the Millennium it has become a nation of fund-raisers, yet all parties want to be rid of beggars on the street.

COLIN ROCHESTER (Chair)

Dr JUSTIN DAVIS SMITH

(Secretary)

RODNEY HEDLEY

(Committee Member)

Voluntary Action History Society

London SE5

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