The reason why we got a welfare state is that charities could not meet needs

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The reason why we got a welfare state was that charities did not and could not do the job that was needed.

Nor can they now.

Which is why although I think charity is vital at drawing attention to problems and facilitating the actions of those who want to address them paying tax to maintain essential services will always be more important

It  was very clear that many from NGOs and those from the Charities Aid Foundation did not agree with that view when I spoke tonight.

I admire their passion.

I worry about the poverty their lack of faith in government, democracy and the power of the state alone to really address the issues of poverty created by failings in the market could unleash. Their Victorian view of the benign philanthropist is quaint, but profoundly worrying - especially given that some of the names used to support their argument were well known users of tax havens.