Err, yeah

The threatened loss of half of Britain’s charities could reduce the country’s GDP by five per cent, says a new analysis backed by the Bank of England’s former chief economist.

The study by Pro Bono Economics (PBE) said the true value of charities’ contribution to the economy is 12 times the official estimate of £17 billion.

The charity – co-founded by the Bank’s former economics chiefAndy Haldane – estimated the UK’s 168,000 charities and vast army of volunteers could contribute as much as £200 billion to the economy in “gross value added.”

Pity we’re interested in net value added……

18 thoughts on “Err, yeah”

  1. No charities? No chuggers? No shroud-waving adverts about kids in countries that said they could manage without us decades ago? How will I manage? Or should I do my own problems first? Hmmmm.

  2. Genuine question: How do you value the contribution to GDP of a charity? It can’t be at the delivery end because whatever’s being delivered is not being paid for. By definition. If it’s from the money contributed end, just a pound per pound calculation? There’s no way of discerning whether there’s any added value being created or it’s just pissed against the wall.

  3. @BiS

    Indeed, if it’s from the money contributed then they are just measuring the cost of charities. Amusing therefore if they’ve just announced to the world that the cost of charities is 12 times the official estimate of their benefit…

  4. Made me wonder do you have to pay school fees, if you’re not sending your kid to a charitable paid for school?

  5. The Meissen Bison

    …the Treasury’s £750 million aid package for charities in lockdown fell well short of what is needed

    Others might think that it was £750 million too much. Too many national charities now rely on state funding and are overtly political with a mission to nag the population and lobby government to advance their aims. Not only would their closing not be a loss, there would be a considerable benefit.

  6. The big worry here is that the large, politically clued up charities are going to hoover up this cash, and the small ones who actually concentrate on charity and not political activity and lobbying won’t have the ‘nous’. So we could end up with an even worse outcome – a sector even more dominated by socialist lobby groups fooling the public as charitable organisations.

  7. BIS,

    It’s basically impossible. You can even look at a charity on the surface and see it’s doing good, scratch the surface and realise it’s mostly looking after the people who work for it.

    Sure, they don’t make a profit, but you can pay yourself a nice salary and pension*, work a few days a week, put your kids on the payroll, make them “caretakers” for a cat sanctuary that you’ve set up next to a 4 bed house, hire your husband’s company to do the software work.

  8. I’m all in favour of a bit of competition, but do we really need 1 charity for every 400 people in the country? How much duplication and overlap is going on here, between various people doing the same thing?

    You get this when some child tragically dies and the parents set up a charity to raise money. I know it’s tragic and they want something to remember them by, but that’s a lot of overheads, when you could just tell people to give to the main charity in that area.

  9. Setting up a ‘charity’ is now the preferred route for failed retired politicians, as a tax-efficient way of channelling their earnings from the rubber chicken circuit. Speaking of which, I read that one Theresa May made £1 million last year in this way. WTF pays £100,000 to hear her pearls of wisdom?? I might pay her £10 to shut up.

  10. “The main charity in that area.”

    “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” – O’Sullivan’s Law

    United Way was the big charity here in the U.S. up until the 80s. They had become so hard left that corporate employees refused to contribute, even though employers REQUIRED contribution.

  11. Well, the Bluebell Line “overlaps” what the North Yorks Moors Railway do, but you can’t turn up at Pickering and chose to get on a Bluebell train.

  12. An uncle’s supposed to have contributed to the Bluebell Line when it started. It did have a station for his house, of course. He also had his own charity, a bird sanctuary. Which conveniently overlapped with his private golf course. Unc was always a firm believer that taxes happen to other people. Some might say a trait runs in the family, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

  13. The Clinton Foundation will be studied for decades as the example of self-dealing and self-aggrandizement as soon as the current media and academic supporters die off.

  14. @rhoda klapp

    +1 The “clean water” ads:

    Past: drink dirty river water, some die, most immune

    Charity: installs clean ground water pump and maintains, then ‘too busy’

    Few years later: charity finally sends repairman, village empty. Abandoned? No. All dead as dirty water immunity lost

    Charity started at most ‘faecal’ polluted downstream and was working up. Should have started with fix problem not apply plasters: sewage system, but that’s too difficult, so do virtue signalling regardless of harm caused

    50% of charities gone? Oxfam, WWF and all doing TV ads first please

    @TMB, BoM4 +1

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