Shelter receives 38% of Quangocrat funding

Shelter receives 38% of Quangocrat funding

9:33 AM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago 10

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TaxPayers’ Alliance analysis reveals how ministers, officials and ‘Quangocrats’ are wasting taxpayers’ cash funding organisations that lobby the government. From 2017-19, organisations that lobby for changes in public policy received at least £39,584,172.

The Report shows Shelter received £15,204,000 between 2017-18 from multiple local authorities, government departments, public bodies and the London Councils Association. This was the second highest figure received behind Citizens Advice and represents over 38% of the total funding.

Taxpayer money being used to fund political campaign groups creates a political merry-go-round, whereby the government assigns taxpayer cash to third parties, who then lobby that same government.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“Taxpayers are sick to the back teeth of being levied to be lectured and lobbied by faceless bureaucrats.

“Quangocrats are awarding funds to yapping Yes Men, empowering certain viewpoints and distorting the decision-making process as they use their privileges to campaign for policy change.

“Government needs to stop funding the lobbying merry-go-round, and instead focus cash on taxpayers’ priorities.”

The TaxPayers Alliance considers that taxpayer funding of lobbying and political campaigning has a number of negative effects:

  • It distorts decision making in favour of the interests and ideological preoccupations of a narrow political elite.
  • It slows adjustments in the direction of policy in reaction to new evidence or circumstances.
  • It increases political apathy among the public.
  • Taxpayers are forced to fund views they may seriously disagree with.

Click here to read the research paper.

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11:57 AM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

It's an interesting paper. £15 million pounds to Shelter from various government organizations and Shelter don't actually house That's probably tax payers money to pay the salaries and pensions of people working for Shelter I would guess although there's no breakdown.

There's a housing charity local to me that does actually house people and I probably wouldn't mind if my local authority gave money to them as they do genuinely take people off the streets and house them. I wouldn't be happy if my local authority gave money to Shelter.

One of the 'charities' listed as receiving government money in the paper is the Fabian society ( a socialist organization) who got money from the Woodland trust who in turn got £2million from the government in 2018. I do contribute to the Woodland Trust. It was only £4K that the Fabian society got from the Woodland trust but it does make you wonder what the Fabian society had to be given £4k for. I'm not sure the Fabian society plants trees in any great number but who knows, maybe they do.

I think that for most of us, whether we care that our tax contributions are being given to someone largely depends upon what they are going to do with it. Both Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour representatives were on TV yesterday talking about the flooding in the Welsh Valleys. A lot of poor people there are having a miserable time because they've been flooded out of their houses and your heart has to go out to them, it must be awful, especially in February. The labour spokesperson was saying that they need extra money because the valleys cannot mitigate against flooding as they have no flood plains.

Now that's not strictly true. It's certainly true that if people are going to continue to live in those communities they will probably have to reinforce flood defences or maybe re-house people. At the same time though the water catchment areas upriver of those communities are probably hill-farming areas where we have been paying sheep to graze via the Common Agricultural policy (the CAP is a tax that has largely been paid by us as net contributors to the EU), rather than planting trees which would probably slow the rate of run-off of that water.

The Woodland Trust is also Coed Cadw in Wales, it's active across the UK. Now despite the recent bleatings of the leader of Plain Cymru about Wales being "raped", which is nonsense, I'd like to see us help Wales because although Scotland keeps threatening to vote out of the UK, Wales voted to stay out of the EU and with the UK. Via the Barnett formula we allocate more money per capita to Scotland than we do to Wales (although that's partly because Scottish Water isn't privatized) but the truth is the poorest people in the UK aren't in Scotland; they are in places like Essex...and the Welsh Valleys.

So if the government gave the Woodland trust an extra few million to plant trees in Wales upriver of the Welsh Valley communities to reduce the risk of flooding, rather than pay for the production of sheep that French farmers probably aren't going to allow in to Europe without setting them alight, as an English taxpayer I'd be happy with that. I wouldn't be wild about the Woodland Trust diverting any more of the money they raise to the Fabian Society though.

Just plant trees please.

As for Shelter...

For that > £15 million they get from government I wonder how many of those poor people in the Welsh valleys they are actually going to house.

Whiteskifreak Surrey

12:18 PM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

As a private Landlords we could really make a difference if we were given that £15m - probably sort out the homelessness in our Surrey town... And I am sure bigger LLs here could do a lot lot more to get people off the streets.
Well - NLA/RLA really must work on our behalf with regards to this issue.
NB - where is the Landlord Alliance - that would be an ideal matter for them! I do not think I have heard from them for a good while. Anyone has? It all has gone really quiet.


15:05 PM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Whiteskifreak Surrey at 21/02/2020 - 12:18
I think a lot of charities that actually house people could make more of a difference with that £15 than Shelter, especially to those people presently suffering in the cold and the rain. Maybe the government should divert that money to charities housing people in the Welsh Valleys, Yorkshire or elsewhere currently experiencing flooding problems.

My best guess would be that a big chunk of that money presently going to Shelter is going to pay the living costs and pensions of people who already have a roof over their heads, or to maintaining Shelter's assets.

David Lawrenson

16:53 PM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

It is not just Shelter who are oddly in receipt of cash from a strange source.

Also, Generation Rent are too. Back in 2014, I highlighted how they got a big chunk of cash from Nationwide Foundation, charitable arm of Britain's biggest building society, the Nationwide.

Funny thing was that at the time - 2013/14 - the lovely Nationwide were not allowing landlords with buy to let loans through them to let to tenants on housing benefits - something I pointed out to the London Assembly Housing And Regeneration Committee at an event where I was asked to give evidence. (Cue, much surprise from the likes of London Labour AM Tom Copley et al! It's on the record)!

Anyway, after that evidence I gave there, a certain someone close to the Nationwide board said that Nationwide had suddenly got very jumpy, quickly overturned that "no housing benefit" policy and were now quietly allowing landlords to let to this group. (Lloyds Bank did the same with their BTL mortgage brands).

I pointed this out to Generation Rent, who did not seem to mind too much about their benefactors recent "anti-housing benefit folks as tenants" lending policies. I guess they don't mind who feeds them!

Nationwide, for their part, distanced themselves from the money, pointing out it was given by their Foundation. But a bit embarrassing for the society, given that GenRent are hardly banging the drum for more landlords and the fact that Nationwide, through The Mortgage Works were, and are still a big player in buy to let lending.

All good fun.

Read more here:

David Lawrenson
Private Rented Sector Consultancy


17:01 PM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 21/02/2020 - 16:53I have a buy-to-let mortgage with the Mortgage Works. Actually, I generally find the Mortgage Works very good and I've never had any problem with them. Last time I checked the terms of the deed there were some groups of people they weren't wildly enthusiastic about me letting to, but I don't recall them having a problem with letting to people on benefits.
The issues for me with letting to people on benefits are:
1. ability to pay
2. ability for Councils/other benefits agencies to claw rent money back from you as a landlord if it subsequently transpires they weren't eligible for the benefits
3. the amount of work that you have to go to to protect yourself from (2) this as a landlord
4. the fact that you don't have access to data to check eligibility for benefits
5. the fact that you might not be able to protect yourself from (2) at all
6. the fact that if your tenant can't pay then you might have difficulty recovering your property in a timely manner
7. the fact that organizations like Shelter are empowered to make things worse for you even if you haven't done anything wrong as a landlord
I don't automatically assume that tenants on benefits will be bad tenants. I have let to them in the past, just insisted that they pay me directly.

David Lawrenson

18:11 PM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

I'm not wildly enthusiastic about lets to tenants on benefits.
Would not say "No" but they generally fail our income checks - which are 2.3X rent as income anyway, plus all applicant must prove they are not in debt already.
Rather laughable for Shelter to make so much noise recently about private landlords saying "no to housing benefit", as this is what most housing associations do too - they just instead have affordability checks every bit as stringent as mine, which leads to the same result - they don't have many "benefit tenants"! @SpeyJoe (Joe Halewood), who is no lover of private landlords is often on Twitter baiting the housing associations and Shelter about these double standards.
Re TMW, yes it was their policy back then. A policy that was pretty useless anyway (and not seemingly enforced in practice) as they never wanted the adverse publicity of situations where landlords had to evict a tenant who went on housing benefit.
David Lawrenson


18:16 PM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 21/02/2020 - 18:11
I don't have any problem with TMW at present. I may have mis-remembered but the last time I checked it was *either* TMW *and/or* my landlord's insurance that specified no asylum seekers and no migrants. I don't remember anything about tenants on benefits.

I did rent to tenants on benefits years ago (insisting on direct payment) but as I now use an agent, given the extra work/risk I think it unlikely that my agent would put forward a high proportion of tenants on benefits. I think most would fail the agents' checks, or require such an onerous process to check that they just wouldn't bother.

Larry Sweeney

18:33 PM, 21st February 2020, About 4 years ago

The Landlords Alliance has not gone away. We libbied very hard to stop liverpool renewing their licensing scam. We are currently assisting a prominent Landlord on some legal issues which will in due course hit the headlines. We are also liasing with a second Mp re Liverpool.
As regards Shelter. It is an absolute scandal the way in which tax payers funds are being channeled to this vile organisation which houses nobody.


12:01 PM, 22nd February 2020, About 4 years ago

The Government should use this money to guarantee Housing Benefit payments and provide deposit guarantees.
This would encourage Landlords to take Housing Benefit Tenants.

Heather G.

19:50 PM, 26th February 2020, About 4 years ago

Hi Larry,
Can you let us know what you're doing about the Croydon Selective Licensing consultation which closes on 9th March please (I'm a member of Landlords Alliance)?

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