Government funding for faith groups to help them lobby Government!

The British Humanist Association has criticised the announcement today from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, John Denham MP, of a new fund to help faith groups lobby Government. The fund, worth £1.2 million, is designed to help faith groups ‘get their voices heard by Government and public bodies and help play their part delivering public services’.

BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson said ‘It is scandalous that the government should provide such an exclusive stream of funding. If the Department for Communities genuinely wishes to engage with the diverse range of groups that make up our thriving civil society they should realise that most of those groups are not religious and make funding like this available to all, without discrimination.’

‘Faith groups already enjoy a privileged voice in ear of Government, and to offer them financial support to help ensure that their voices are better heard only shows further contempt for inclusivity and even handedness, creating a vicious circle. Religious organisations have already won extensive opt-outs from UK equality law by lobbying government, even when providing public services. For government to exacerbate this discrimination by giving religious groups extra money to lobby them even more is a disgrace.’

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For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson, 020 7079 3583.

The British Humanist Association was founded in 1896 and is the national charity promoting Humanism, campaigning for a secular state and an open society and representing and supporting non-religious people.