I read with dismay and frustration the Charity Sector's response to the government's proposal that monies given to Charities by government organisations for services should not be used for lobbying. The Charity sector claim this is a vow of silence as they represent 'the vulnerable' against the Big Bad Government.
But lets just clarify this. Charities, who claim to be 'not for profit', feel they have the right to skim off monies intended to assist users of services so they can lobby government for their own interests? In any other context, this would surely be considered fraud and corruption?
Best Value is not a new term but I believe it is has relevant as ever as a core value to the spending of public monies. Best value is not about always going for the cheapest option, but ensuring the maximum outcomes can be reached for the money being spent. It is something the average household has to do and continuously review, although I am not sure the government is as good at doing this.
The reality which the socialist agenda appears to ignore is that the planet and society is built upon limited resources. Many of the 'cuts' over the 6 years have been effective and necessary spring cleaning that has probably improved outcomes. Admittedly not all the cuts have keep best value in mind and I think monies could have been better saved while still maintaining or improving outcomes.
On a personal level. as someone who receives a lot of state funding in a number of ways, I want to feel that I am 'best value'. By this, I want to believe I am able to make the best contribution to my community and society as I can. This does not mean I buy into the 'benefit scrounger' rhetoric but it does mean I have a social conscience and awareness I am not the only person who needs support.
Also being a long term user, being 'best value' means I should in theory be in a better position to maintain the support I require for as long as I need it. This is long term thinking I doubt many people care about and I feel this highlights the true level of selfishness that motivates many 'anti-cuts' activists.
Getting the most of every £1 of tax raised by reducing waste and avoiding duplication should be the goal of everyone. Best value requires people, including charities, to think far beyond their own interests and think about how public monies can be better spent for the benefit of everyone.
Unfortunately the rhetoric of austerity has caused people to be more divided, battling their own causes one cut at a time, without any interest in looking at the bigger picture. This more divisive era of politics, often led by the Charity Sector, and fuelled by obsessive social media, is sadly likely to keep Best Value off the agenda for many years to come.