So you mean beyond the collection tins on many shop counters, the charity muggers on the high street, the envelopes dropped through your letterbox and the door to door collectors, the government has decided we need more opportunity to give to charity?
They could also be prompted to give money when they fill in tax returns, or apply for passports and driving licences, the Cabinet Office suggested.
We're already prompted to give money when we do all those things, that's the reason we have to do those things in the first place. What they mean to say is we could be prompted to give more money.
Lottery winners would get thank-you letters from ministers if they donated large sums to good causes.
Oh, that would be the icing on the cake, wouldn't it? Only a politician would think that winning a lottery prize would be made better by some arseclown, who is probably due to be sacked, voted out or convicted of stealing the equivalent of a nice lottery win from the taxpayer, sending a letter telling you what a good little drone you are.
But here's the thing, who decides what constitutes a 'good cause'? Of all the big charities, the only two I have any faith in are the RNLI and Help for Heroes. As far as I know, neither of these two take any cash from taxes. Both these charities save lives. Both these charities stand for what I believe charities should do. I'm betting that the 'good causes' the politicians have in mind are probably made up of the usual suspects: the RSPCA, who seem to no longer really care about the animals, all they care about are prosecutions and taking people to court to make them donate. The NSPCC, who spend most of their time spreading fear about noncism and picking the very lowest of the low hanging fruit. ASH who, well, go see Dick and Leggy.
To me, this looks like a scheme to get even more money out of our pockets and into those of organisations who already take a hefty portion of their income from the tax pot. You and I are well aware of the fake charity scam, but the vast majority of people aren't. When the subject arises and I explain my objections, I am looked at as if I've just said the moon is actually a giant vanilla cheesecake and the Royal Family are alien zombie robot lizards from space.
'But, but, they're charities.' It does not compute. It's kinda like pointing out to a seven year old child that Father Christmas doesn't exist. The bottom lip goes out, it is contrary to the evidence available. The TV goes on about him, he saw him at the shopping centre, the toys from Santa arrived the previous Christmas, even the mince pie and carrot were reduced to crumbs. So how can this be the case?
Here's a line to strike fear into all our hearts:
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said it was not an attempt to "compel" people but to encourage the "big society" agenda championed by Prime Minister David Cameron.
And we all know what happens when government calls for something to be voluntary, optional or safe-regulating, and the preferred choice is not taken up, don't we children? Yes, that's right, they'll just pass a law.
The Big Society is goverment telling us 'give us your money, and we'll decided where it is best spent, once we've taken an admin fee, natch.'
Where's the difference?