It has come to light that Oxfam has been rapped over the knuckles by the Charity Commission for failing to maintain political neutrality – which is hardy surprising when so many ‘charities’ have chosen to voluntarily politicise themselves and thus become lobbying agents for government in the field of policy. This is not the first time that a complaint has been made against Ofam, as mentioned by Your Freedom and Ours.
Oxfam’s annual accounts for 2013/2014 state (page 8) that their income is derived from a variety of sources: voluntary donations, trading income, investment income, governments, institutional donors and other public authorities. The pie-chart on page 9 reveals that only £5.8million, out of a total income of £389.1million, came from appeals while £172.4million came from government and other public authorities. They are not above taking money from the EU either as this speech by Siim Kallas, at that time Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud, in 2007 shows.
Where fake charities are concerned Oxfam is by no means the only one that now spends an inordinate amount of time and money lobbying government for policy implementation. In this regard this link contains some excellent papers by Chris Snowdon, such as Where does the state end and civil society begin; How the government uses charities to lobby itself; and What can be done abut state funded activism.
There is of course two further points that can be made and that is first, why did it take a complaint to make the Charity Commission act and if they were doing the job they were supposed to do should they not have acted of their own accord; and second, why have other charities not had their knuckles rapped?
One has to question the statement on page 2 about the aim of the Charity Commmission to be an efficient, objective and proportionate authority that seeks to deliver just and reasonable outcomes.