AS CHRISTMAS approaches so do the appeals from charities roll in.
But, in a reasonably well-off, democratic society can we justify relying on charities to raise money for vital medical research.
In the UK there are about 170,000 registered charities. With premises, overheads, expenses and salaries this must account for tens of millions of pounds from donations every year.
Individual charities cannot be expected to see the overall picture; they must do what they can for their own charity. So, if, say, a cancer charity raises a million pounds extra, then heart disease and Alzheimer’s societies drop that amount.
Do we not need a central body that will look at the overall picture and allocate funds from taxes to where they are needed rather than making medical research dependent on which charity can use marketing skills better than others?