Random Musing

“A rich man’s joke is always funny.”- Proverb

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The Wasp
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Idle journalists waving the shrouds for the government funded charities.

These days, reading any article in the press that mentions the word charity linked to some service cuts immediately raises my suspicions enough to go and have a look at the Charity Commision website to see just how much tax money is being handed over to them.

Call me cynical, but it is the unfortunate truth these days that most charities are anything other than government funded lobbying groups.

Today’s example comes from an article in The Telegraph about cuts to IVF treatment – something which, in my opinion, should have no place at all in the NHS range of services :

Health trusts suspend IVF funding

Around 10 per cent of English health authorities have stopped funding IVF treatment to save money, according to new research.

New research – I wonder who is pushing this one and whose press material The Telegraph is recycling?

You don’t have to read very far to discover that it is none other than a “charity” called Infertility Network UK (emphasis mine) :

Under national guidelines, primary care trusts (PCTs) are meant to offer women who need it three full cycles of IVF.

This includes extracting viable eggs, fertilising them, implanting suitable embryos in the womb, freezing embryos not used, and implanting the frozen ones at a later date if necessary.

The latest Department of Health audit, in 2009, showed that almost all PCTs offered at least one fresh cycle, while 27 per cent offered three full cycles.

However, research by the Infertility Network, a charity, has found that at least 11 of England’s 152 PCTs have now suspended funding for new referrals, meaning they do not even offer one cycle.

Most changed their funding policies last autumn, with the bans to remain in place until at least next month when the new financial year starts.

Given the ongoing pressures on NHS budgets, most trusts are not expected to restore funding.

Authority areas affected include: West Kent, Medway, West Sussex, Surrey, Sutton and Merton, South West Essex, Warwickshire, Warrington, Bury, North Yorkshire and Stockport.

Other considering cutting funding include Lancashire, Salford and Trafford, and Haringey, Barking and Havering.

Susan Seenan, of Infertility Network UK, said many considered IVF to be a “soft option”.

She said: “Some compare IVF with cosmetic procedures, saying it’s a ‘lifestyle choice’.”

On the last point there, I would most certainly agree.

Anyway, back to the point.

Exactly how charitable is Infertility Network UK?

A quick look at the accounts (pdf) shows that an amazing 85% of their funding comes directly from either the Government or Merck Biochemicals :

Why the coalition decided to ringfence the Department of Health funding is beyond me when they hose money around at single issue groups who then squander some of the money by lobbying the government for more yet funds.

There is huge scope for cuts here if only we could remove the veil of “charity” secrecy from this spending.

It isn’t even a case of providing jobs in needed services as the charity in this case provides just 12 posts at a cost to our pockets of a quarter of a million pounds per year.

Big Society will no doubt bring on much, much more of this and my worry is that it will just entrench government spending and associated high taxes in ways that even Labour never dreamed of. It will also be just about impossible to remove when the number of shroud wavers exceeeds the number of people paying for it.

They may as well just take all our wages at source and give back a weekly allowance because, no matter what colour rosette, they are all the fuckign same underneath.


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4 comments to Idle journalists waving the shrouds for the government funded charities.

  • Wasp

    AE – Certainly they can take as much money as they want from private companies as long as they make it clear who is funding their lobbying efforts.

    In this case I suggest that The Telegraph are more to blame for idle journalism by calling this blatant lobbying “research” and not pointing out who is actually paying for it – i.e. our taxes and a company with a vested interest in health spending.

  • Excellent post.
    Woman on a Raft´s last blog post ..Sir David Attenborough

    • Wasp

      Thank you Woman on a Raft and sorry for not noticing sooner that the spam filter had you in its evil jaws. I hope you were not gummed too badly 🙂

  • Not so concerned about Merck. Private companies can give money to whoever they please and only have to justify it to their shareholders. Does it make the charity a lobbyist for the industry? Yeah, probably, but if it’s all transparent the only remaining problem is what makes it a fake charity: the taxpayer money.
    Angry Exile´s last blog post ..Quote Of The Day