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Would new bank cards make you donate more?

10:29 UK time, Wednesday, 29 December 2010

People could give to charity every time they use bank cards in shops or at cash machines, the government has said. What would make you more charitable?

The government's consultation, which runs until 9 March, calls on UK banks to look at copying a system used in Colombia which allows customers to make a donation each time they withdraw cash.

The proposals are set out in a government paper calling for charitable giving to become a "social norm".

Are you generous in charitable giving? Do the British need to donate more to charity? What else could be done to encourage giving to charity? What would you classify as a generous donation?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.


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  • Comment number 1.


    I don't do charity.

  • Comment number 2.

    NO....Never in a million years. Charity begins at home. Full stop. Charity donations pay for terrorism, keep Despots in power and furnish Charity administrators a luxury lifestyle. Look after your own thats my opinion, we pay enough in taxes some of which is channelled to terrorist organistations.

  • Comment number 3.

    This is a con,lib rip off again do thay never stop.

  • Comment number 4.

    There is no point inviting more of us to donate to charities more of the time if most of us are going to be in gigantic debt for most of our lives - whether for for basic housing, education or both. If we are several tens of thousands of pounds in debt we are charity cases ourselves. How about making people on very high incomes pay their full share of income tax and making certain that very porfitable companies pay proper corporation tax, regardless of what tax fiddles they might try.

  • Comment number 5.

    They miss the point- charities are too volatile and too full of people with their own individual issues to cope. Its governments job to provide those services which make us a civilised society- not the random and unreliable resources of charities. They want to make us all complicit in their reactionary strategy, just as they have bought in Simon Hughes. We can't blame them if we sign up to their 'big idea' is the strategy- and its as mean as its shallow. Why can't this site ask some real questions as it did before the revamp!

  • Comment number 6.

    The only ones that will be named will be the large charities eg. Save the Children Fund etc. The smaller local charities will not be on the tick box choice. Their must be a system where you can give to the charity of your choice for example local neighbourhood charities. I only give to a certain selection - Barnardos and local ones - Exmouth Hospiscare and Exeter Hospiscare, and Exmouth and District Community Transport Group

  • Comment number 7.

    It's impossible to give to every charity without becoming a charity case yourself, I give to my favourite charities and make other ad hoc donations as I see fit. This is just another attempt by a very bad government to appear human.

  • Comment number 8.

    No ! If I want to give to charity, I'll give anonymously. That way I can pick the charity. Also charity begins at home. I refuse to give to foreign charities.

  • Comment number 9.

    Absolute rubbish! My local BBC station are reporting that the Government wants to "make it easier for people to donate to charity".
    I can't believe it's that hard to give if you want to give. Why do we need this king of "pester-politics"?
    The paid unemployed ambushing you for your bank details on the high street, and having collecting tins shoved under your nose before entering the supermarket are bad enough.
    If believe want to give, they will find a way, otherwise let them be.

  • Comment number 10.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 11.

    Can we please have topics that stimulate debate on pressing matters, rather than invite us to post petty personal information?

  • Comment number 12.

    There won't be any need for 'charity' when we change over to a Resource Based Economy as proposed by the Zeitgeist movement and the Venus Project.
    Every day more and more people are starting to understand and support the idea.

  • Comment number 13.

    Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well lets see the politicians, bankers and fat cats lead by example. Let them donate their spare cash first.
    The director of Baa or who ever he is could have accepted his £1 million bonus and donated that to charity instead of leaving it to prop up the company he is head of.
    The govt take away reading books for the poor then ask us to donate while at the same time diverting Another £20 million to overseas aid. We can all donate any surplus to charity with our credit cards in the meantime VAT is about to increase to 20% and weaken the economy
    This sounds like another Tory policy as usual They are all willing to spend money so long as it isnt their own.

    I suppose all this genourous donating will of course be tax deductable. .................Makes you sick

  • Comment number 15.

    " What would make you more charitable?"

    Having a great deal of surplus money might. As it is, however, I have so little in the way of disposable income that I would not consider giving any of it away.

    I am inclined to agree with Comment 2 as well. Charities today are big business with a fake compassionate face. Look at all the advertising on TV - send £2 a month to this, £2 a month to that, £18 will pay for this, £5 a month will support something else - if you fell for that lot you'd have no money left. I have supported one charity for years but all I ever got in return was more and more demands for money. Once they get hold of your name and address they all bombard you with junk mail. Maybe they'd have more funds available for their charitable purposes of they cut out the junk mail.

  • Comment number 16.

    The government do not have a clue! The British people already tend to give more tho charity than most other nations and the government say that the real problem is that not enough Brits do volunteer work. This scheme will not only do nothing to increase volunteer work, it is also likely to harm charitable donations too. The most annoying thing for many people is being constantly asked to donate (almost to the point of harrassment) by multiple people/organisations as they walk down the street or open their mail - this constant barrage of 'give, give, give' puts people off and if they are now going to be further 'harrassed' every time they withdraw cash, pay for shopping via credit/debit card or even filling online forms, then they are going to be further put off! This is somebody's 'good idea' in an effort to justify their own job and is ill-conceived! Has anybody thought about the smaller charities, or what happens if someone selects to donate by error?

    If this ridiculous scheme is to be introduced then people should be given the option to 'switch it off' so they are not harrassed every time they use their card or use the internet!

  • Comment number 17.

    "Do the British need to donate more to charity? What else could be done to encourage giving to charity? "

    How do you define "need" above? Maybe it would make a lot more sense to ask why there are so very many so-called charities, many of them duplicating each other's work. Still, makes jobs for all the admin staff, I suppose.

    Why should there be encouragement to give to charity? Many charities operate on the basis of taking our money and spending it in other countries. Given that the government does this with our tax money and without even asking us if we object, why should we be flinging more cash away overseas?

    In these times of austerity, my cash stays with me for me to use on what I choose.

  • Comment number 18.

    This idea is nothing new. The Yorkshire Building Society have been running a Small Change Big Difference Scheme for years where members donate the pence amount of their savings interest or rounded up mortgage interest (maximum 99p per account per year) to a charitable foundation.

  • Comment number 19.

    Definitely not!

    We don’t give to charities, which fund expensive CEO’s and managers or spend millions on publicity or employ fundraisers, we prefer to give to local charities and organisation where we know the organisers are voluntary and take nothing out.

    Those people who have been awake in recent weeks will already have seen the signs that our government are planning to cut public spending by passing the book to charitable organisations.

    Only a couple of weeks ago CONSERVATIVE deputy prime minister announced the closure of immigration centres to be replaced by charity run centres!

    Charity is a regressive taxation as is the National Lottery good causes fund of which we will see more diverted to pay for public spending cuts.

    If something needs to be funded because of decades of government failures on social policy then it should be funded by taxation increasing the burden on those more able to pay.

    By transferring responsibility to charitable organisations it will only help the government to hide many of the countries problems.

    PS The pending VAT is the worst possible regressive taxation and although we are supposedly all in this together it is once again the low-income bracket that will shoulder the burden.

  • Comment number 20.

    I never give to charity.

    They can never convince me that the money donated ends up going to the people it is intended for, rather than fat cat administrators or corrupt third world dictators.

  • Comment number 21.

    Is this a joke ? Do they really expect the punters to support the Oxbridge graduates who populate the big charities now that the diplomatic service isn't such an attractive career any more. No way , charity as they say, begins at home.

  • Comment number 22.

    I'm not sure which is worse, the Government engaging in this nonsense or the BBC for running a HYS thread on it

    If you want to give to a charity then give to a charity - it's not difficult
    If you don't want to then don't

  • Comment number 23.

    “Charity begins at home” — another false aphorism?

    True charity is without self-interest, therefore . . .

    As to this wheeze — no way. In common with many others, I’ll donate anomalously as a when . . .

  • Comment number 24.

    An amazing amount of money given to charity never gets anywhere near to the cause involved, for this reason alone, I never give to charity unless I personally have some knowledge of the financial trail involved.
    This is an idea floated from Nigeria(!) where their charity collections are even more crooked than ours.

  • Comment number 25.

    We are gradually going the same way as the US, over there because so many have little or no health insurance cover there are constant requests for your help. This may intially have a response but soon people become immune to pleas for help. The requests then have to get even more harrowing in order to evoke a response. It is degrading for those having to beg, you also see this on every street in the third world,because most people have limited funds they have to ignore the entreaties. Of course many can help in this country and do but it is not constantly every where you go. We have a good balance largely because of the NHS, help is there for every one as required. We all know that the desperately ill will not have the added humiliation of having to beg. When you meet requests to give at every turn you have to learn to refuse if we are subjected to appeals at ever corner people may well learn not to respond.
    Why change things we have one of the highest rates in the world for charitable donations along with the Irish so we must be doing something right. Change for changes sake and a subtle way of taking responsibility from the State and turning it over to the private sector. The balance is about right here, leave things alone and get on with changing the really important things such as the rapidly increasing gap between rich and poor. The poor always give a much bigger proportion of their money to help others so perhaps if we allieviated some of the poverty we would find that charities benefited

  • Comment number 26.

    If I thought for one minute this idea had been thought up for the benefit of charities I may consider it.

    Call me cynical, but isn't this just the government trying to shift financial burden of some charities to the tax payer?

    If charities hadn't been forced to be so complex with their administration through over-regulation more of the donations could be used for the beneficiaries.

    Simplify the reporting requirements, encourage segregation of duties and allow the charities to do what they are good at.

    Why do successive governments believe that all anything ever needs is more money thrown at it?

    The charities have now been encouraged to take out insurance policies to protect their committees from being sued, paid for by donations.

    I always try to support charities that can guarantee the most amount of my donation reaches the beneficiary.

    Tell me why the head of Oxfam is on £80k plus a year?

    Also I see another batch of ads showing starving children this christmas in Africa. Millions upon millions have been donated to this particular continent, why are we still seeing the same pictures 30 years later?

    I don't think the people of this country would sign up for this type of giving.

  • Comment number 27.

    I give money (tax efficiently) to local charities. Causes that I know and trust. Organisations that don't fund a jet-set lifestyle for administrators. If bank cards started nagging me to donate I think I'd give LESS, not more.

  • Comment number 28.

    Just how out of touch are these people? I'm going to put the next bit of my post in capitals just in case any of them ever may look at this site.


    Think that was clear enough for even these idiots to understand?

  • Comment number 29.

    Wasn't the original idea of the National Lottery to give money to good causes. Instead it got hijacked to fund the LONDON Olympics. If I want to give to charity I will contribute to local organisations where I can see the benefits to my local community or to special cases such as disaster relief. And what about the poor local organisations who shake their cans in the supermarkets or help you to pack your shopping for a few bob in the bucket. They will lose out.

  • Comment number 30.

    More money would make me more charitable I would certainly use a credit card if the money went to support the NHS

  • Comment number 31.

    This just goes to show just how out of touch these politicians are. Do they not realise that it is us, the great British public, who are in need of charity right now, not the other way round!

  • Comment number 32.

    If the government can't stop bankers pocketing taxpayers charity bailout here in the UK then how can we expect them to ever to deal with corrupt foreign organisations siphoning off charitable donations for arms, limos or despots.

  • Comment number 33.

    13. At 11:41am on 29 Dec 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to become independent of it.

    A noble thought, Magi but it is not always true. I hope you won't need hospice care at the end of your life. Many of these places rely on charity for part of their income.

    I'm willing to give to a cause that helps people have good care at the end of their life.

  • Comment number 34.

    I have stopped giving to any charities, until the government of the day starts to enforce the laws of the land!

    I had illegal doorstep clothing collections calling at my door - illegal as the "charity" did not have a license to collect.
    I spoke to the charity direct, they said they wanted to "stop this kind of thing" - the very next day, they went ahead and collected bags of not only their charity, but another charity collecting the same day.
    My local council licensing officer confirmed this was illegal.

    The local council did nothing about it
    The charity commission were not interested when I reported it
    The police tried to say it wasn't illegal and passed me back to the local council
    The unlicensed, illegal, doorstep collections continued in the surrounding areas, nothing done to stop them.

    Then we have one of the big two national british charities, spending money not on the children they collect for (by selling red noses) but funding the set up and running costs of IT personnel who build lobbying websites to drum up support for such things as scrapping the TV license!

    Charities today are big business and some are paying big wages out.
    Pick out any charity and do a bit of research on them, you'll be staggered at the level of wages they pay out to those that "run" them.

    At a time when we are paying for the borrowing needed to prop up the british economy - £24,000 for every single person over 18 (of which we received not one penny piece) - to make it easier for people already stretched to give, is insensitive and lacks understanding of how the man in the street is managing.
    Enforce the laws of the land already in place and half the tin pot charities will vanish, as it will not be profitable for them.

    Protect the individual first, then tinker with the system.

  • Comment number 35.

    When the Big Society gives me a contract and a job after 4 months of nothing I'll perhaps take some interest in charitable giving.

    Now after spending thousands of pounds getting my LEA to school my son appropriately , perhaps the government would like to reimburse me ?

    Let the banks give to charity , they've been subsidised by taxpayers and paid themselves billions in undeserved bonuses.

    Help the government cut vital services by private giving ? yeah right. After theyre deliberately cutting spending too hard , fill the gap with my non-existent income ? someones really having a laugh on this one !

  • Comment number 36.

    30. At 12:01pm on 29 Dec 2010, RICH588 wrote:
    More money would make me more charitable I would certainly use a credit card if the money went to support the NHS

    Of course you could argue that given the average of 33% of your hard earned money being taken in income tax and NI, you already donate 33% of your working time to supporting the NHS and other good causes....

  • Comment number 37.

    This is a really strange thing to do. If you want to give to charity, give the cash to a charity directly. Doing it through your card will probably mean the bank will stick their finger in the pot! You can't put it past them, they robbed from everyone before, they will do it again.

    This is definately a lib dem thing to do, no tory would even entertain the idea of giving to charity! I think the lib dems are trying to portray themselves as a 'nice' party who care about others. Sorry boys, too little too late, you sold out to the tories and now you can live with it.

    Oh, and for some of other comments, charity does not start at home. However bad we think we've got it, there are those who have it a millions time worse. We certainly don't have to walk miles everyday to get drinking water, nor do we have to die from curable diseases. Even if corupt governments keep skimming money off donations, if something reaches those that need it then it's worth it.

    It's this 'charity begins at home' attitude that makes people in England so unpleasant toward one and other. No-one wants to help others if it means they miss out on something themselves, no matter how small.

  • Comment number 38.

    I can't even walk to my bank without being "mugged" by half a dozen people with collecting tins and clipboards as it is. So even if I manage to successfully dodge all of them, now they want to take the money off me when I do finally get to the bank? Where will it all end? Next they'll be deducting money from our wages before we even get it... oh, wait... they already do...

  • Comment number 39.

    I choose my charities with care. There are many where you can see exactly where the money goes. Usually local run by someone you actually know and trust. I don't need the government to be involved, and I don't want to donate to corrupt dictators and inefficient bureaucracies.

    If this is part of the big society they can stuff it.

  • Comment number 40.

    The government public message is that they want giving and helping others to become the social norm and I do applaud the ordinary person in the street, who gives up their time selflessly, to help out with charity work, but..

    We have become such a Me Me Me materialistic society, starting during the Thatcher era, nurtured by the advertising media and driven by greedy companies and bankers out for themselves..

    To try and now reverse this ethos will take a long time…indeed it may already be to late to reverse the trend

  • Comment number 41.

    I have a very dim view on charities now a days. Most of them, especially the household names, waste huge amount of their donations on high paid jobs to exec, monthly, if not quarter, general meetings in fairly luxurious hotels with buffets, company cars, glossy news mags etc. I mean, what do the people, or situations the charity is there for get out of it? I've had dealings with 2 charities that were supposed to help me. I discriminated by an employee of one, and the second... well i wasn't taken serously and tbh they staff there were next to useless and not worth their salary. I daren't name the charities in question. Not sure i can mention why I approached these two organisation. If I do, it would narrow it down a bit lol.

  • Comment number 42.

    Let me see, Vat going up 2.5%, fuel prices on the increase, food prices rising, charity subsidies cut, childrens book scheme stopped, wages froze (if you`re lucky enough to have one), mass redundancies and now they want us to give more to charity for the " big society". What planet is this guy on? Tell you what Mr Cameron, go to the Camen Islands or Switzerland, i hear there`s plenty of money there. If it goes on like this we`ll all be charity cases.

  • Comment number 43.

    Hows this for an idea......

    Instead of wasting billions in foreign aid why not give the money to UK charities to benefit the UK population.

    Cant see the politicians being too keen on that idea, well there would be no need for fact finding jollies to sunnier climes now would there!

    And before anyone starts ranting at me, my chosen charity is The Lighthouse Club which most people will never have heard of but runs a benevolent fund for the families of construction workers injured or killed. Highly unlikely they will be on any government approved list!

  • Comment number 44.

    Charitable donations to take up the slack of government cuts in the public sector. This is the ultimate effect of the regressive, narrow-minded policies of this government that would rather close libraries and youth clubs than make billionaires pay their fair share of tax. Seven months of these chinless wonders in power is already too much.

  • Comment number 45.

    29. At 12:00pm on 29 Dec 2010, Junction26 wrote:
    Wasn't the original idea of the National Lottery to give money to good causes. Instead it got hijacked to fund the LONDON Olympics.


    Hi Junction26

    The lottery was originally for charitable purposes. Gordon Brown changed that to good causes, which meant the Olympics could then have the funds ("good cause" may mean something different to different people, of course).

    It does seem to me as if this idea was taken from ebay, but I suppose if that works, it is worth a go - it isn't compulsory.

    I am out of work, but as and when I have some spare change I put it into a collection box for a charity that I support. I imagine the 15p that many people might be too embarrssed to put in a collection box will not be embarrassing if used as intended with this scheme. I am not clear how many charities there will be to choose from - it mght be that I would not support any of them.

    But I would take the monies back from the Olympics. That is not what the lottery was intended for.


  • Comment number 46.

    Considering how little, especially after the forth-coming cuts, I personally get and will get in the way of services for my taxes, I consider my tax-paying to be a charitable act.
    Where are the huge profit-making philanthropists of yesteryear? In the Bahamas?
    Perhaps Cammie, Cleggie and Ozzie can provide information on their own charitable donations? All three are multi-millionaires....obviously from another planet if they think the pulic will swallow this one.

  • Comment number 47.

    30. At 12:01pm on 29 Dec 2010, RICH588 wrote:

    More money would make me more charitable I would certainly use a credit card if the money went to support the NHS

    National insurance contributions were increased in 2003 in order to improve the NHS; this money came in very handy for Bliars war on the Iraqi people. The self financing (profit making) London Olympics are now being funded by monies from the national lottery that are supposed to be available to charities. Where do you think monies donated by your card payments might be diverted to, I dread to think?

  • Comment number 48.

    No, it would make me feel more depressed and under pressure to do more, when clearly at this time, I cannot. Besides, this is wrong. If the country were being run properly and the NHS had more money not less, and we looked after our old people with dignity and respect, we wouldnt need charities to go cap in hand, saying please sir I want some more to cameron and co. Charity begins at home, my home, my family, and frankly I wouldnt trust the banks with any extra money with a barge pole.. we have no way of knowing any donation was going to the right place, and not a fat banks already inflated profits.

  • Comment number 49.

    No! I give to charities in that I buy most of my clothes from charity shops.
    And I always buy the Big Issue from Stefan in the high street.

  • Comment number 50.

    How difficult is it to donate currently for heavens sake?
    Most high streets have a plethera of charity shops which take donations.
    Online giving is easy, as is regular giving by direct debit etc.
    If people want to give, they will. Those that don't either don't want to or can't afford to. Simples

  • Comment number 51.

    It's another stealth tax on the middle classes!

  • Comment number 52.

    Not a great idea to be honest, why do governments let the wealthy off with breaks yet the workers (the people who make an economy by working and putting their wages back into a system that doesnt favour them)are expected to take up the slack? Most regular people use credit cards when they don't have the money in the bank so I'm not sure how you would pay off the interest on your card AND donate to charity. Big business and wealthy individuals should lead the way. The SOCIAL NORM in the UK is the workers are on just enough to get by, and the rich and big business are given carte blanche to act however they see fit. Both charities in the UK and abroad would be better off if governments taxed the rich properly.

  • Comment number 53.

    I absolutely DO NOT support this proposal. And I would utterly resent being asked to give to charity every time I used a cashpoint machine or paid for shopping! I wouldn't have a problem with saying 'NO' very clearly, but some people may well feel pressurised into giving, whether they could afford it or not, if they thought they were being judged by the shop assistant or other people in the checkout queue. This would be terribly unfair.

    I buy lottery tickets very week - I though money from that went to charity? I do not, otherwise, give to any 'people' charities. I support animal/wildlife charities, (preferably small and local ones without huge office overheads and highly paid executives) as animals have no control over their lives and are at the mercy of the damage inflicted on their environments by humans.

    If I had a large win on the lottery I would wish to remain anonymous as would any charitable donations I made. I would choose my own good causes - probably local people I know who are having a hard time and local causes.

  • Comment number 54.

    Perhaps also, there should be fewer charities doing the same work.
    Why, for example, did "Help for Heroes" come into being? They do the same work as the Royal British Legion. How much does it have to spend on Admin, premises and general overheads? If all the money went to the one cause there would be more money available to go to those for whom the money is being raised.

  • Comment number 55.

    This isn't charity.
    Its legalised Begging.
    I will dump any bank that force feeds this on me.

  • Comment number 56.

    Can the trade unions congress knock a few heads together and come up with a bank that actually works for its customers and only its customers or do we really have to put up with this irrelevance?

  • Comment number 57.

    A kind of taxation when using a credit card? No thank you....I give to charity when I want to....

  • Comment number 58.

    If the Government can give millions to other countries then let them give to our own. They take enough from us already.

  • Comment number 59.

    Charity starts at home, the Government have already made us understand that statement more than ever...

  • Comment number 60.

    banking system is hostile with little or no regard for the needs of the people other than what is allowed under rules and regulations to allow for the marketing of business.For people to throw their hard earned money into a banking network on a charitable chariot is asking too much of a generous nation of people who willingly give up their hard earned wages to all kinds of charities at home and abroad.The will of the nation is to help others in need,the will of the banking system is to draw money from what ever source it can in order to prove a profit to allow for better reasons to give high bonuses to overpaid bankers.
    The coalition government is showing signs of depression by copying other ruthless systems of banking.But for charitable people the government would be forced into a tight corner,would be expected to give more money to help the needy instead of looking for ways and means to extract more money from the people who are already committed to help charitable organisations with better and a more responsible way without an order form stamped with an official government tag on every transaction made at the local bank.
    Even though there is the presumption of freedom to choose what people do with their money there is always the greed element in government circles
    with ideas of fame and fortune as a means to their own glory by trying to show how wealthy the great british public is, with a pruning device, like using charity, as a flawless gift of providence.

  • Comment number 61.

    Chritable giving is a personal and private thing, I have no intention of leaving an auditable trail of my decisions for someone else to analyze. It's my business, nobody elses, leave me alone to get on with it.

  • Comment number 62.

    If this is a 'survey' to ascertain the public's response then they are completely wrong. Firstly,I give to MY chosen charities, not to some global pot that I'm not in control of and have no idea where it went. Secondly, whilst this is mooted as an 'idea', I don't want to be pestered with pop-ups begging for my small change at a supermarket pay-point or roadside cash dispenser. We want less opt-in/opt-outs not more of them.

  • Comment number 63.

    I find this distateful in the extreme, we have a Multi-Millionaire chancellor telling us all to tighten our belts, then another of his cronies wants us to give money away.

    Perhaps if MPs in there long recesses gave their time as volenteers, we might be more inclined.

    Charity begins at home and is a private thing, I give to certain ones, as they have personal meaning, I do not have the means to give to all the causes out their needing help. It just isn't possible. A nice fat contibution from David Cameron and Francis Maude would help them though.

    What next, American style 'United Way' deductions from wages that are opt out, and can be detrimental to your employment if you do?

  • Comment number 64.

    ben @ 37
    "Oh, and for some of other comments, charity does not start at home. However bad we think we've got it, there are those who have it a millions time worse. We certainly don't have to walk miles everyday to get drinking water, nor do we have to die from curable diseases. Even if corupt governments keep skimming money off donations, if something reaches those that need it then it's worth it"

    I dont deny that many have it worse than we do, but a couple of questions:
    Why in countries where the people have to walk miles to get basic water - when anyone wants to holiday there, are they the most expensive holidays?
    Does giving charitable funds that are skimmed off by corrupt governments not prolong the suffering of those people?

    I remember a few years back, reading that oxfam gave funding to a "rebel" faction, which in turn allowed them to be safe to transport aid across roads that were "controlled" by the faction.
    Yes the people got some basic supplies, but the faction will surely buy more influence/weapons to prolong the conflict as it benefits them?

  • Comment number 65.

    Re 37 Ben

    During my lifetime billions of pounds, dollars, whatever, have been poured into 'developing' countries. Where has it all gone to when people are still having to walk miles to collect water and dying of easily curable diseases?

    I grew up in one of these 'developing' countries pre independence when it was actually very developed, organised and self sufficient. Why has everything fallen apart or ground to a halt since then?

  • Comment number 66.

    I gave up supporting the larger charities years ago when it was alleged (and never challenged) that more than 90% of donations went on so called admin charges and grossly inflated fees to overpaid administrators, bankers, lawyers and accountants. I have no sense of feeling for these so called "charities". Even some of the smaller ones have climbed onto the "fat fees" bandwagon.

  • Comment number 67.

    It wouldnt surprise me if gift aid is about to stop soon.
    No to this idea and any other personal monetary donation idea by this sham of a government.
    Some of us have worked hard for our money, it wasnt handed to us on a plate like most of the MP's that are supposed to be serving this country.
    I would love to meet Mr.Cameron and just ask him what does his government think they are playing at! (obviously Mr.Clegg would be stood behind him).

  • Comment number 68.

    The plethora of television 'begging bowl' world-wide adverts already make me turn the air blue, and this idiotic government proposal is nothing short of insult to injury in these days of austerity caused by their, and bankers', ineptitude. There wouldn't be any need for charities if governments did their job properly, in tandem with weeding out corrupt money-snafflers in their midst, bogus expenses claims being one of their ploys.

    Charity begins at home, and as far as I'm concerned, will remain there. No way will they succeed in sending me on a guilt trip for NOT giving to some far flung, dubiously run country or UK charity.

    The rich politicians (show me one that isn't) can dip into their own pockets and give, give, give. From this latest cooked-up idea they've had time to ponder over, it's blatantly obvious they've nothing much to do - except beg and steal even more from those least able to contribute. If ever there was a 'donation-killer' - the government just invented it!

  • Comment number 69.

    What a completely ridiculous idea this is.

    If I wanted to give to charity, I'd go and do something practical because an awful lot of the funds donated to charity just get stolen or embezzled.

    Also, why is an extremely well off government official recommending this when clearly he doesn't do anything or give a goddamn care in the world about any of it?

    The government are just wearing a good guy badge, make them take it off and accept responsibility for their own actions.

  • Comment number 70.

    Isn't the whole idea of charity that it's donated by choice? Having it automatically debited from your card makes it a tax.

    What needs to be promoted more is blood and organ donation. But again, I say promoted - NOT enforced.

  • Comment number 71.

    I know several people who work for large well known charities. They earn salaries and have perks that put politicians to shame. My father in his eighties was hounded the other day in a supermarket to give money to a charity aimed to help people in his age bracket. Like he says, he has never seen any of these people at his door offering any help or checking on his welfare. No thanks. If I give to charity it will be my time, and not time for fund raising. Family and neighbours first. BTW what does John Low earn?

  • Comment number 72.

    For those with extra cash there are many deserving local and overseas charities - run ethically, where the vast majority of money goes to the people in need. If you dont want to give then dont - ignorantly rubbishing organisations is immoral as it deters others from giving.

    I personally find the direction the ConDems are moving in very disturbing. Scrapping important public sector jobs and services and attempting to replace them with a rag-bag of volunteers and charities.
    We are not that skint - this is ideological policy.

    In general terms its just another (almost daily) view into the out of touch world of our millionaire politicians. I dread to think what we are going to end up with.

  • Comment number 73.

    Of course the current government wants us to give to charities,which they want to take over their responsibilities for social care. It doesn't make it sound like another tax to support the needy and sick.

  • Comment number 74.

    52. At 12:25pm on 29 Dec 2010, PaulElMoncada wrote


    You be careful Paul asking sensible question like yours will never get you promoted or elected to power. Governments don't want common sense suggestions. They only want ideas that fit their plans. They owe far too much to their party donors ever to bother about the workers who keep the country going. Nothing will be done to soak the rich or even get a fair share from them. Tax laws are deliberately left with loopholes for the wealthy as they hold the power. Workers are kept just above poverty levels so that they are fearful of social unrest as it might mean they lose the little they have. We could do something if we all stood up against them, after all the rich are a very small minority but we are easily divided amongst ourselves, brainwashed by the media and so nothing changes except the wealth gap widens

  • Comment number 75.

    A sick ploy by the banks to improve their reputation and profits at the expense of the people who are now paying through the nose for the banks recession causing greed! Bankers are wolves! Or is this the banking sectors' answer to the Robin Hood Tax? Anyone with any sense should cut up their plastic!

  • Comment number 76.

    Yet another abysmal idea from this joke of a government. What do they expect people to give? Who has any spare cash that they can afford to give to charities? Who has the time to volunteer for charities?
    People are being forced into spending every hour they can in paid employment, just to try and keep the wolf from the door these days, never mind giving their hard-earned cash to charitable causes, nor can they afford to spend time working for charities for nothing, when they could spend that time doing overtime or working an extra job to help cover their own living expenses.
    This useless government, like the last one, clearly thinks that money grows on trees and we all have the same easy access to it that they do.

  • Comment number 77.

    i believe all services for the public good should be paid through the tax system if people wish to make voluntary contributions to a favourite charity in addition fine ,basic needs in a civilised society should be via the tax system ,some excellent charitys should not have to rely on money from the public to run the services they provide this should come via state funding ,perhaps a survey of the public could be done ,so we can get some idea of what us the public regard as services that should be provided as a basic requirement for the public good

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    At 12:03pm on 29 Dec 2010, Quo Vadis wrote:
    This just goes to show just how out of touch these politicians are. Do they not realise that it is us, the great British public, who are in need of charity right now, not the other way round!


    Couldn't agree more - any donations much appreciated!!

  • Comment number 80.

    71. At 12:44pm on 29 Dec 2010, palmerlad wrote:
    My father in his eighties was hounded the other day in a supermarket to give money to a charity aimed to help people in his age bracket.
    "Hounded" Did they set the dogs on him then ?
    Was he verbally abused when he didn't give anything ?
    I'll bet they shook their tins and politely requested money for the cause. Fascists.

  • Comment number 81.

    I don't buy lottery tickets, I don't gamble and I certainly don't want a begging bowl stuck in front of me every time I pay for my groceries. I couldn't think of an idea worse than this. The banks have all the money, go pay them a visit! A substantial contribution (and I'm thinking of millions) from them just might make the suffering public less aggressive toward them. As for the government, they have a brazen cheek to come up with this idea. Charity begins at home, not at the check-out.

  • Comment number 82.

    No , I am bombarded every day with begging leaflets, cloths bags, accosted in the street by people with tins, fight through collection buckets in supermarkets etc etc etc and to be honest I am getting pretty fed up with it, I am now saying no more, in current times I am being ripped off left right and centre by utility companies and banks etc its a job just hanging on to your own money for essentials, so I say again NO MORE

  • Comment number 83.

    No, for the following reason.

    Some charities cry poverty, they show impoverished children, or animals at starvation point. They want people to give time to work in their shops for nothing, or even do work for nothing.

    Yet the managing directors of many charities command 6 figure salaries.

    This to me stinks of fraud. How on earth can a charity really be a charity if the some individuals are lining their own pockets?

    My rant doesn't stop there.

    There are cancer charities, and charities for other ailments, to help fund research in to treatments... this money ends up in the coffers of research and pharmacutical companies... who then make a packet from selling on the results of the research and these medications aren't cheap to buy are they, and we cannot afford them less we mortgage our house. But hang on, these medications were funded by charitible giving!!

    Yes, charities are a necessity. But please think to whom you are giving and where the money is going.

  • Comment number 84.

    I would be more charitable if charities didn't pay their executives such large amounts. The thought that my £3 a month would barely cover the cost of one breakfast for some parasite turns me right off donating.

  • Comment number 85.

    My Christmas break in Mallorca with my elderly father was totally ruined by the Bank of SANTANDER after I gave a CHARITY donation via my debit card to The Salvation army. They froze my account and despite several phone calls to them,they refused to unblock my account and allow me any transactions on my card. I had no money to give my father any christmas presents, to buy any food or treat him to the special Chritmas dinner at a hotel that I had promised him. Instead of having a happy, relaxed christmas with my father,who is in his late 70s, I brought him nothing but anxiety, stress and misery over the whole time I was there. Needless to say I wil NEVER give a donation to charity again. Trying to make others happy at Christmas totally destroyed my own family Christmas thanks to the mean spirited actions of the

  • Comment number 86.

    Like most people I don't give to 'charity', I give to specific charities of my choice. That choice can't be offered in the proposed system, so I wouldn't use it.
    Where people are persuaded to give to 'charity', who is going to decide which charities receive how much of the money, and how much will go in 'administration'?
    This sounds so flawed that I suspect a hidden agenda - such as a bit creamed off here and there for the banks and the Treasury.

  • Comment number 87.

    With lots of people losing their jobs and money becoming scarce I don`t think many people are donating to charities ; how about cancelling foreign aid and giving the money to UK charities ; look after your own David !!

  • Comment number 88.

    This is yet another scheme to make the poor feel bad. This is proof that charitable organisations are set to take the strain of the cuts to essential services. Charitable donations ought to be a personal choice, not something foisted upon people.

    I already donate my time to a charity, I can not afford cash contributions. It's ok for the trust fund boys in Westminster to make it easier for joe public to give money to charity, but there's no recognition from them that average joe public barely make enough money to pay for the basics to keep a warm roof over their family's heads & food in their belly. I'm getting very tired of the guilt trips coming from charities to 'encourage' donation. It doesn't make me want to contribute, it makes me incredibly angry that such tactics are used to guilt those least able to afford it in to giving away their money.

  • Comment number 89.

    Short answer NO. We have hardened ourselves to the guilty feelings refusing literally dozens and dozens of charitable donation requests every month.
    We make a couple of standing order donations each month (still living on pension) but the rest no way. VAT going up 2.5% cost of living more than 5%, fuel costs going up 10% and set to rise much more. Rates which will go through the roof 2011/12 (as local authorities lose central government income and they have not been capped like Mrs Thatcher did) Its all tax by one means or another no room for adding 20p here and 50p there every time we shop. I think the government have got a lot of nerve. They must think folk are simple.
    Trouble is many of these charities pay fund raisers huge commission, a Chief Exec. £50k + plus fringe benefits like a BMW and BUPA. The charity works of the scraps.

  • Comment number 90.

    I agree with caroline earlier, if they are going to start nagging for this sort of thing I will give less, or nothing. Its my choice when and if I give to charity. Its bad enough with all these TV adverts begging for "just £2 a month" trying to play on peoples feelings. If our own government didnt keep sending OUR TAX MONEY abroad and started looking after its own country FIRST then we wouldnt have half the problems we do (and thats not specifically the coalition, if anything is more Labour, which is who got us into the mess the country is in in the first place - like they do every time they get in).

  • Comment number 91.

    This idea will probably mean I give less to UK charities. My regular donations are for overseas aid but the ad hoc ones are usually for causes in the UK. If I paid by card into a pot I couldn't be sure that my money wasn't going to a charity that provides volunteers to undertake work previously done by paid employees. What's the liklihood of charities who do this most getting preference? I don't want my donations to help the government disguise service cuts.

  • Comment number 92.

    Do you remember when you were a kid, in your local shoe shop or newsagent, there was this big plastic thing, the shape of R2D2, with a slot at the top where you could roll in 1p and 2p pieces, and watch through the clear lid as they spiralled down into the base with a satisfying "chink".

    Now that's giving to charity!

    Cameron, Clegg, Osborne and the rest of the Ant Hill Mob want to make it easier for us to give eh? Seems like they have already managed to make it easier for themselves to take....

    Bring back the 2pR2D2s!

  • Comment number 93.

    80. At 12:53pm on 29 Dec 2010, Mr Cholmondley-Warner wrote:
    71. At 12:44pm on 29 Dec 2010, palmerlad wrote:
    My father in his eighties was hounded the other day in a supermarket to give money to a charity aimed to help people in his age bracket.
    "Hounded" Did they set the dogs on him then ?
    Was he verbally abused when he didn't give anything ?
    I'll bet they shook their tins and politely requested money for the cause. Fascists
    In all fairness to palmerlad, it may have been a slight exaggeration, however some of the disapproving glares I have received from charitable collectors, most of whom are now paid to collect, are shocking

    I give regularly through my bank account so don't contribute to tins. I have also done door to door collections and done voluntary work. I don't feel compelled to justify myself to the tin collectors but am judged for not putting in their pot all the same.

    I don't doubt an elderly gentleman may feel a little intimidated by some of the collectors.

  • Comment number 94.

    What a Joke, if i wanted to give to charity i would, there is already more than enough tin wavers about, to have a nagging "would you like to donate" prompt everytime i wanted to use my card in shops would be an intrusion to far.

  • Comment number 95.

    If our governments were effective, there wouldn't be a need for charities in this country. The number and size of British charities is a measure of the failure of government.

    As for this latest suggestion.....I donate because I want to and not because I want a patronising letter from my local MP, whoever that is.

  • Comment number 96.

    There are one third of a million registered charities in this country. Were we to give just 10p to each that would be £30,000. I am one of many who exist on less than £10,000 pa.and I'm sick to death of having tins or buckets thrust in my face every time I visit the High St or Super Market. Not a week goes by without demands posted through the door, many of them from Help The Aged. Who do they help?? I live in one of a block of 6 bungalows occupied by elderly people from 70's to 90's with health problems. We have been confined to our homes for 1 month last January and now another month with current snowfalls but we have yet to see one Charity, Councillor or other organization come to our doors to ask if we are alright.I do give to charity but need to be selective and am ofter embarrassed by over eager collectors.
    Our Governments are too keen to give our money to overseas and wasted on Wars we should not be involved in not to mention the poor Service Men & Women who pay with their lives for the stupidity of past PM's. We need a Government that looks to our own country first; enough is enough. Please don't make life even more difficult by inflicting this crazy scheme upon us.

  • Comment number 97.

    How much are the banks going to make out of this?

  • Comment number 98.

    At a time where we are seeing increases in taxation, pay freezes for those of us in the public sector, increased chances of redundancy and massive cuts in services to the vunerable, we are expected to give more to plug the gaps in essential services that have been cut by uncaring and uninterested policians?

    Its more "big society" nonsence, I wonder how much the likes of Osbourne, Cameron and Clegg will give, along of course with their free time to help worthy projects?

    Its a worrying time to be in need . . .

  • Comment number 99.

    "While the British are generous in charitable giving compared with people in most other countries, they rank 29th for volunteering - spending 17 times more hours watching TV", the document notes
    Enough said.

  • Comment number 100.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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