Thursday, 6 August 2015
Children's charity Kids Company has been forced to close after it failed to secure sufficient funds, despite the latest £3m government grant. The charity is said to have failed to persuade philanthropists to match government funding after being accused of financial mismanagement while also being under threat of a police investigation into crimes on its premises. The closure has left the government scrambling to secure support for the children the charity helped. Editorials in the Guardian and the Independent both say the story poses the question of how accountability works when the state subcontracts essential social services to charities which it funds with public money but does not control.
The Guardian, The Independent
The Government is to amend the new Trade Union Bill to ban union membership fees being collected directly by any public sector employer through their payroll department. Union members will have to set up direct debits or write cheques to continue their membership. Unions fear this could cost them millions. A trial of the scheme in some Whitehall departments led to the PCS union selling its building at Clapham Junction to plug a shortfall in fees. Jonathan Isaby, the chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, welcomed the government proposal, saying: "It is simply not the business of public sector employers to be processing the union dues of their staff, and it is shocking how many bodies have been providing this service at absolutely no cost to the unions.” The Times,