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Opinion – Charities and Government

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by Mike Edwards

Social and economic issues are the topic on the minds of many, some because they feel a need to help others because they suffer under these issues.

Charities and voluntary groups on a daily basis campaign and fund raise to combat the issues, I have and always done what I can, and always will, but the inescapable truth is charities should not have to be the tip of the spear in the battle for a solution to these issues.

Surely as a wealthy society, even though the vast majority of that wealth is held by a small few, we should be funding the various initiatives needed to end poverty both social and economic.

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The system in place at present funded by us and administrated by our elected representatives and civil servants is not fit for purpose, it neither benefits those in need, nor a society that has long neglected and excluded those most in need.

While the emphasis within our system remains profit no end to the issues will be in sight, now the issues are many and the solutions not always easy to find, but relying on the good will and generosity of the general public is not a final solution.

A change must be made in how we see those in need and how we engage in finding solutions with them, we as a society must include in the decision making process the very people at present excluded and living with the daily struggles these issues throw up.

Charities have a vast amount of knowledge and the capacity to develop and administer truly beneficial programmes to begin ending social and economic poverty, yet our political leaders cut funding to these very groups, knee jerk reactions, sound bites and photo opportunities are never going to replace policy and funding.

Charities for too long have tried to fill the void that political apathy has maintained.

Now is the time for political leadership not seen since the Rising, we now need politicians to leave behind failed policies and take an imaginative step towards new policies and programmes for the good of all.

Charities should be the first port of call for any Government in trying to develop new and positive ways of fighting social issues.

Charities will of course have a part to play in future issues, even when Governments get their act together and change policies for the better, but charities should never be the main source of daily care and provision.

This is not an attack on charities, I am in awe of the work they do and especially that of some individuals whose tirelessness is an inspiration, but rather the system itself that has and is failing so many.

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