MP calls for charity contracts instead of funding

Robwilson 1-2

Former charities minister believes charities have become too political and need reigned-in 

29th January 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Former charities minister Rob Wilson has unleashed a scathing invective on large charities for becoming “extreme left wing.”

Wilson, who served as minister for charities for three years, singled out Oxfam’s recent report that estimated that just eight men own as much wealth as the poorest 50% of the planet as being an example of political correctness and bias.  

Writing in the Telegraph, he said: “Oxfam, like a number of large international charities, has been so blinded by the political correctness of the chattering classes, it has disappeared up its own, morally righteous, posterior.

“It stands accused of being anti-capitalist, anti-wealth and anti-Conservative. Some have even gone so far as to suggest that it is now a front-group for extreme left-wing Corbynistas. It certainly gives every impression of being incapable of evidence-based rational argument.

“The leadership of the big charities must stop being so overtly pro-left. They must provide balance by hiring new right-leaning people and change their focus.”

He said the government has become reluctant to do business with large charities because they have become too political.

“Some government ministers already regard the charity sector with suspicion because it largely employs senior people with a left-wing perspective on life and because of other unfair criticisms of the government,” he wrote.

“It means there is regularly a tension between big charities and the Conservative Party.”

Controversially Wilson suggests grant funding should be replaced with contracts, as they would allow the government to force charities to be more professional and responsive.

"It’s time to stop campaigning for more state hand-outs and instead become partners in a social reform programme," he said. "Only then will the charity sector make the most of its huge potential and the enormous goodwill of the public.

"Government should not be afraid of reinvigorating the third sector and re-energising its power to do good. As the stresses and strains on the public sector become more and more evident, charities are needed to deliver the better outcomes at the lower cost the country needs."

Oxfam's head of advocacy Katy Chakrabortty said: "Since 2014 Oxfam has published reports on global inequality which chart the growing gap between the extreme wealth of a small group at the top and the billions around the world who struggle to get by. Inequality matters to us because the evidence is clear that the huge gulf between the world’s haves and have nots is holding back efforts to end extreme poverty.

"Breaking down the barriers that are holding back the world’s poorest people is not about ideology – it’s common sense. Theresa May has said the economy needs to work for everyone, not just the privileged few. We’re calling for action to achieve precisely that."