Funding the new economics foundation

I receive a comment from Sam Thompson of the new economics foundation:

Amount of money nef receives from the current government = £0

Really?

Sam, might I suggest that you read your own accounts?

Principal funding sources
Our funding sources are diverse and we receive funding from trusts and foundations, local, regional
and national government and through consultancy contracts.

There is of course wibble room here for the nef.

The aim of nef is to work to establish an economy as if people and the planet mattered.
To advance this aim we work in fotlr Centres:
The Centre for Global Interdependence
. The Centre for W ell-being
. The Centre for the Future Economy
The Centre for Thriving Communities

It\’s the four Centres that get the government dosh, not the nef directly. But since they do mix funds, do transfer and do lift up funds from the Centres to the central body:

e) Restricted funds are to be used for specified purposes as laid down by the donor. Expenditure
which meets these criteria is identified to the fund, together with a fair allocation of overheads
and support costs.

Mhm, hmm…..

Support costs are, umm, £567,000 or so.

So, we\’re told that nef gets no money from the government. nef\’s accounts say they get money from local, regional and national government.

From the apparent structure, the government money goes to the four Centres, each of which are charged support costs, those support costs being what pays for the nef.

This is no government money goes to the nef is it?

Still, I suppose it\’s a paragon of clarity and simplicity compared to the normal reports from that quarter. Remember the Green New Deal which suggested we could increase the capital available for investment in green lovely thingies by lowering interest rates and imposing capital controls in a country that has imported capital for decades? Admittedly, I think that section was written by Caroline Lucas but then who would be stupid enough to let her write anything about economics?

At least we know they\’re being misleading rather than the more normal ignorance of the real world.

19 comments on “Funding the new economics foundation

  1. Just as I was about to vent my spleen on the other post you go and post this! (Which is just as well as I was not going to be as polite)

  2. It’s a fair cop, chaps. Careless talk costs lives and I should have thought through what I was posting before pressing submit.

  3. “I should have thought through what I was posting before pressing submit.”

    That’s like saying an MP that he’s paid back his illegally-claimed expenses after having been found out, so everything’s fine. You told us that you’re not plundering our tax money even though you knew it was a blatant lie.

  4. “It’s a fair cop, chaps. Careless talk costs lives and I should have thought through what I was posting before pressing submit.”

    A bit more thought before pressing the submit buton on your reports would be appreciated as well.

  5. The rules on charities have to change. It is morally wrong for governments to fund advocacy groups. I’m sure the left will be up in arms if the incoming Tory government starts funding the IEA or the ASI.

  6. Sounds as though nef is a bit of a “secrecy jurisdiction”. Does the money from the four centres, which is kicked upstairs, qualify as some sort of transfer payment amongst related subsidiaries?

    Any special tax treatments for doing things in this “murky” fashion?

  7. @ Georges, if a ‘charity’ has a trading subsidiary, the trade profits of the subsidiary are basically taxable, BUT that subsidiary can reduce its taxable profits to nil by making a ‘charitable donation’ of the full amount to its parent ‘charity’.

    As it happens, any trading company can reduce its taxable profits by the amount of charitable donations it makes.

  8. The legal recognition of “charities” ought to be abolished, period. They’re all up to their necks in lobbying and politics and always have been.

  9. @Mark, thank you for the kindly answer.

    Your answer, of course, begs the question as to the status of nef’s subsidiaries and how/why the funds are xfer’d…..

  10. Mr Simms is remarkably reticent about his qualifications as an economist. His potted biography on the nef website merely states that “Andrew studied at the LSE.” He has never provided an answer to the question “with what result?” though admittedly my query was somewhat intemperate. His economics credentials would appear to be as suspect as his scientific ones.

    nef’s last published accounts (for the year ended 30th June 2008) indicate that one member of staff was remunerated at a rate between £60,000 and £70,000 per annum (the same as for the previous year). I would imagine that this is Mr Simms living modestly.

    I have seen Mr Simms speak. There’s good money in charlatanry.

  11. Ian B is pretty much spot on. A real shake up of the system is needed. The Charities Commission is not at present fit for purpose and should be wound up and replaced with a body with a lot more teeth, under a substantially narrowed remit.

    In the present climate, there is plenty of political climate to de-fund the astroturf charities like ASH, which are basically NuLab proxies used for kite-flying whenever a new chunk of illiberal legislation needs a fig-leaf. I’m sure there’s a few billion sloshing around there that George Osborne could trouser. It would go a long way towards draining the Gramscian swamp, too, given how infested these pseudo-charities are with Gordon’s cronies. If charities were enjoined to restrict their activities strictly to education (real education, not ‘consciousness-raising’) and alleviation of distress, the crisis in charitable giving would be ended at a stroke.

  12. Andrew Simms may have not completed his degree (and at the LSE too!) but on the other hand one of his senior research associated is called Tarquin Biscuit-Barrel. Or more accurately Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel.

    Which suggests he is not only a dweeb, but an unoriginal one at that.

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  14. This is how the Labour Party works – subversion from within. And we are now seeing the results, most of all in an education system that it beyond repair, and a society that has fractured appallingly in the past 12 years.

    It will take at least two generations to fix the disaster that New Labour is. I say that as one who voted Labour from his first vote in 1970 until Iraq. Never again. 1997 was a silent putsch, by traitors to the UK.

  15. what are you talking about our £600,000,is nothing compared with labours overspend and debt of £900bn.

    it should just be forgotten about.

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