Friday, 1 March 2013

Government Lobbying Government Confirmed By Alcohol Concern

Last week, fake charity Alcohol Concern released their latest accounts.

Reporting to the Charity Commission for their year up to 31st March 2012, they declared an income of £920k, over two thirds of which was consumed by salaries of £612k for 16 staff. At an average of £38,000 per annum, it would seem that being a professional bansturbator is quite a lucrative career.

But who pays for all this? Well, you taxpayers mostly do. The Department for Education chipped in £209,336, the Welsh Government £234,810, and - if you give to Comic Relief - you also helped to finance their £68,726 contribution too.

With at least 48% of Alcohol Concern's ingoings directly sourced from the taxpayer, they could arguably be termed an arms-length government body (they are often described as a 'national agency' which is unsurprising since they were formed by government in the 1980s).

In which case, these statements within their annual report would count - I humbly suggest - as a cast-iron case of government lobbying government.

Page 8
Objectives for 2012-13
In terms of our campaign and lobbying work we have two immediate priorities. Firstly is to ensure that measures in the Government's Alcohol Strategy are resourced and implemented, including a minimum price through legislation.
More damning still ...
Page 11
Our remit is to change drinking culture and the way alcohol is sold and marketed by influencing Government policy.
Well, that seems pretty unequivocal to me.

As a certain high profile politician once pointed out:
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said it was wrong that taxpayers' money was being spent on political lobbying.
Too bloody right! It's perhaps well past time this government stopped giving our taxes to Alcohol Concern, then.


Steve Wintersgill said...

I seem to recall a bit of noise about their government funding being stopped last year, or maybe that was just direct DoH funding?
They really are shameless.

Ivan D said...

I stopped giving to Comic Relief because they fund Alcohol Concern. How do we know what other useless politicized causes they waste our money on?

trashbunny said...

After all the ho-hah about the Alcohol Health Alliance proposals today I am just wondering when the issues of 'passive drinking' and 'don't drink in front of the children' will rear their head!

Dick_Puddlecote said...

They're already onto that.

Passive drinking and the dangers of drinking in front of children.


trashbunny said...

Doesn't surprise me - does that mean that all the investment into family pubs (or kindergartens if my local is anything to go by) has been wasted? Also what about Third-Hand Drinking (exposure to alcohol fumes from those that might have been drinking the night before) and what plans will there be to combat Fourth-Hand Drinking which means that labels on drink bottles have to be soaked off before you put them in the recycling bin in case anybody sees the empty bottles when they are put out for the garbage collectors. Will you have to have a license to have a cocktail cabinet; will shot glasses have to be stored separately from it? Will there have to be an alcohol-designated fridge with fingerprint recognition on it to access it. Ok, maybe a bit far-fetched, but these guys will likely stop at nothing in pursuit of their agenda!

John Pickworth said...

I wasn't aware that Comic Relief was giving them money... well, they can forget about getting a contribution from me this year. In fact, I'll be writing to them about it.

Dick_Puddlecote said...

Comic Relief have been funding them for years. This year the grant was increased by 30% from £52k to £68k.