Wednesday, 27 October 2010

So Government Does Not Lobby Government Then?

Cross-posted from IanPJ on Politics:

"Back in August Eric Pickles, the Local Government secretary, said he wanted to ban the practice of “Government lobbying Government” because it was “corrosive and wasteful”.

How far has he got with that? Well we have seen the Bonfire of Quangos, but has it got rid of the lobby groups that lurk behind them. And what of government departments, who have a multitude of lobbying companies set up as charities to press their opinions on ministers and political parties.

The NHS for instance. I have been looking at one such ‘Charity’ called the NHS Confederation. It claims to have 95% of NHS organisations as members. Its accounts for 2008/2009 show that it has not received a single penny piece in voluntary income, yet it spent £26,110,000 on Influencing, Supporting Leaders and ‘promoting’ excellence.

This ‘Charity’ states that the aims of the charity are:
The NHS Confederation is the independent membership body for the full range of organisations that make up the modern NHS.
We help our members improve health and patient care, by:
• Influencing policy, implementation and the public debate
• Supporting leaders through networking, sharing information and learning
• Promoting excellence in employment
This ‘Charity’ states that its strategy includes:
To continue our role meeting and respecting the common purpose of NHS management.
To be the authoritative voice for policy and decision makers, the media, and other players in the policy debate on all NHS issues delivering the perspective of our members.
That, is PR lobbying. This is effectively the recycling of NHS cash for the purposes of getting the EU/Common Purpose/Big Society message in line in all areas of the NHS and Government.
NHS Confederation is not a charity, it is a lobbying firm for which it charges its NHS members, it is a training firm for which it charges the NHS, it is an employment consultancy for which it charges the NHS and it is a publishing company for which it earns £92,000 and earns a great deal more in advertising revenue (£259,000) which it lists as voluntary income on activities.

Reading between the lines, the lines that talk about remuneration, there is this snippet which leads me to believe that it was once part of the NHS or the DoH, and was hived off to be hidden off book.
All staff are employed by the charity, with the exception of those staff that transferred from the Department of Health under TUPE legislation and who are employed directly by The NHS Confederation (Employers) Company Ltd.
Oh, and lets not forget, NHS money is your money, your tax money.

This charity employs 215 people, with the top level earnings way up there with bankers salaries, with 1 person on £210,000-£219,999, one on £160,000-£169,999 and two people on £140,000-£149,999.

Seems charity begins at home eh.

You can view their last annual accounts here, and their Summary Information Return here.

I view it as an abuse of the word Charity, but you decide. Is this a charity that should enjoy special tax status, or is it simply a PR/Trading firm that has the NHS as its only clientèle and should be paying tax like any other firm, or should it and its nefarious promotion of communitarianism be swept away and the NHS banned from lobbying.

This is only 1 such organisation. You the public never see them, never hear about them, but by Christ you are paying for them. There are literally thousands of ‘charities’ of this nature who do nothing useful, who produce nothing, but are responsible for sucking billions out of the overall government budgets to promote the Fabian/Communitarian/Big Society message set up over the past 15 years."

It seems you can't trust any of the Lib/Lab/Con - they are all out to hoodwink and thus lie to their paymasters!

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