Labour's bid to stifle charity with EU red tape

06-Feb-2013 @ 13:0

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Conservative MEPs today opposed a bid by the Labour Party to create European regulation which would control the way businesses help good causes and local charities.
They rejected a report drafted by Labour MEP Richard Howitt calling for legislation forcing businesses to disclose details of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.

The Labour scheme would also tell companies to take part in a social labelling programme - effectively a European "kite mark" for corporate philanthropy.

The Howitt report even even calls for a transfer of social and environmental responsibility, "particularly times of crisis" and economic stagnation, from the public authorities to private businesses.

In other words, it foresees businesses picking up the costs of vital social and environmental programmes.
 
The report was approved in the face of vocal opposition from British Conservative MEPs, who insisted existing guidelines laid out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development were adequate for ensuring appropriate standards to encourage CSR.

Anthea McIntyre, Conservative employment spokesman, said: "Businesses who acknowledge that they are part of their community are to be welcomed and encouraged - not manipulated and regulated by EU law.

"In my own region, the West Midlands, the well regarded record of Cadbury's, with their Bournville development, put social responsibility at the heart of that company's ethos.  This tradition is continued today in many companies; employers doing the right thing in the interests of their businesses, their employees and their communities.

"We are looking at something that is working well and working voluntarily. So why on earth do we want to destroy spontaneity and initiative and tie it up with European red tape?

"Charity is by definition a voluntary act. Regulate it, or enforce it, and it turns into an imposition or a tax."

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