The Economist follows up Tony Blair's philanthropy speech yesterday with a big feature on the issue headlined BRING BACK THE VICTORIANS. It tells us that the most generous towns in England are Sunderland, Motherwell and Blackpool, and the meanest are Croydon, Ilford and Kingston-upon-Thames. Is it a coindence that the former are all in the North and the latter are all in the South?!
The graph also shows that Britain is far more generous than other major European countries when it comes to philanthropy, but way behind the United States. But the right hand graph is possibly even more illuminating. It shows that since Labour came to power the number of people giving to charity has fallen by 12% from 70% to 58%. This could be for a number of reasons I suppose, but according to The Economist "a study, by the Institute for Philanthropy, a lobbying group, shows that the bulk of all giving is done by a discrete group who go to church, identify with one of the main political parties and read a broadsheet (quality) newspaper, all of which have become minority pursuits. Those who do give have to donate more to make up for the decline in their numbers."