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Charities Bill no substitute for State provisions – Morgan

10 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Economics Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has welcomed the introduction of the Charities Bill 2007. However, speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Morgan said the explosion of charities on recent years is a symptom of the increasing inequality in our society.

He said, "Sinn Féin welcomes the introduction of the Charities Bill. This legislation has been long promised and is well over due. Until now this sector has been largely unregulated.

"In many cases charities deliver services that should rightly be delivered by the state - and fill gaps in the provision of social services by the state. And while charities have some role in society it is not acceptable for Government to offload social services to the voluntary sector and to charities.

"The explosion of charities in recent years is a symptom of the increasing inequality in our society. The growth of charities in many cases facilitates the State in negating its role in the provision of housing services, the elimination of poverty and the provision of facilities for the elderly, for young people and for the disabled.

"While recognising the good work that many of these groups do we must not forget that it is the role of the state to concentrate its efforts on delivering many of these services for its citizens.

"Politicians and others who pride themselves on their support for various charitable organisations should better use their time and position to ensure the elimination of poverty and the delivery of proper services by the state.

"The public should recognise the irony in any member of government or the government parties patronising charities which exist because the ideologically driven policies pursued by the Government have brought about an increasingly unequal society.

"What we need is a rights-based approach to eliminating the inequalities in society." ENDS

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