An ultra-conservative campaigning group has attacked housing charity Shelter over its public funding.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance claims the charity lobbies government on key housing issues while at the same time receiving up to £15 million a year from various public bodies.
The alliance, which campaigns aggressively to prevent tax payers’ money being wasted and has even attacked the royal family in the past, claims its research shows Shelter is one of the best-funded organisations of its type.
“The UK has a wealth of organisations operating in civil society,” its report says. “Many of these, like the TaxPayers’ Alliance and Greenpeace, survive with no taxpayers’ money, only existing thanks to generous donations from private individuals and groups.
“Yet there are many such organisations that take taxpayers’ money, and then often call for higher government spending or openly campaign against the policies of the elected government.”
The TaxPayers’ Alliance is also not afraid to use uncompromising language, painting civil servants as ‘quangocrats’ and Shelter and organisations like it as ‘yapping yes men’. Nevertheless, its research shows that Shelter is the second best publicly funded organisation outside government after Citizens Advice (£22.3 million) at £15.2 million.
Shelter receives this from a variety of public purses including local authorities, government departments, public bodies and the London Councils association.
“Government needs to stop funding the lobbying merry-go-round, and instead focus cash on taxpayers’ priorities,” says John O’Connell, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Comment from shelter
Greg Beales, campaigns director, Shelter, said: “This report appears to misunderstand both how we are funded and charity law. Charities like Shelter raise funds through thousands of small donations to resource our campaigning to make sure that the voices of those going through homelessness are heard. Funding from the government for the provision of services is ring fenced as a matter of charity law.”