Friday, 13 January 2012

Has ASH lost its funding?

I have just come across a question asked in Parliament last year concerning ASH's Department of Health funding. As you may know, Alcohol Concern recently lost its DoH grant and has been forced to behave like a charity by relying on donations from the public, rather than money taken from people who profoundly disagree with their neo-prohibitionist agenda. This exchange implies that ASH might have suffered the same fate.

Asked by Lord Naseby: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much public money was given to Action on Smoking and Health in 2009–10; how much was budgeted for 2010–11; and whether this will be cut in 2011–12. [HL8180]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) received funding of £210,000 in 2009-10 and £220,000 in 2010-11 through the department's Section 64 General Scheme of Grants to Voluntary and Community Organisations. ASH received these grants specifically to carry out a defined project entitled Capitalising on Smokefree: the way forward.

ASH did not make a grant application to the department's Third Sector Investment Programme: Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund for 2011-12. The department currently has no other plans to provide ASH with funding in the next financial year.

This statement is not unequivocal so don't uncork the champagne just yet, but ASH have been a bit quiet recently. What do you think?

16 comments:

Frank said...

"ASH did not make a grant application to the department's Third Sector Investment Programme:"

ASH running out of ideas? surely not. Hopefully, they were told not to bother but the statement doesn't make clear whether they would receive funding if they applied. It does say it has to be for a specific purpose so we're really no wiser but, nonetheless, good news.

The damage has already been done, however

subrosa said...

I think you could be onto something here, but as Frank says, the damage has already been done.

Jean said...

It seems unlikely that ASH decided not to apply for funding. I suppose they hadn't applied yet when the Minister made his response, therefore he could only say that nothing was happening.
That probably only means that the application for the following year hadn't been made when the Minister made this statement.
By the way, if ASH-UK is in favour of ending the snus ban, while the government is against it, maybe it's not such a great idea to stop funding them right now. If Pharma takes over, I'm not sure it will be an improvement.

Ivan D said...

ASH may have lost government funding but that does not mean that it will have to rely on voluntary donations from the public.

We should not forget that it is sponsored by the more popular charities CRUK and BHF. It is hard to imagine that most people donating to these charities realize that their cash is being used in this way.

The Filthy Engineer said...

I received this Email from ASH in November. So it maybe true.

Dear Mr FE,

Thank you for your email. ASH does not currently receive funding from the "public purse". All our funding comes from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

We used to receive funding from the Department of Health for very specific parts of our work but this has currently stopped.

As a charity we are obliged to make our accounts public and they are therefore available from the Charity Commission but also from our website: http://ash.org.uk/about-ash/ash-publications/accounts

I hope you find this of interest.

Regards,

ASH
First Floor
144-145 Shoreditch High Street
London E1 6JE
T: 0207 739 5902
F: 0207 729 4732
w: www.ash.org.uk

JJ said...

I would think in order for ASH to receive further funding it would have to keep coming up with new projects that it can show to be worthy of any tax-payers money. I don’t know why BHF and CRUK insist on funding ASH, surely they need this money for their own activities. If they fund other organisations then they are getting too much in the first place.

Perhaps it’s worth asking your MP if BHF and CRUK should stop this practice. It’s high time that ASH’s lackey’s went on to the streets and rattled collection tins, after all if they are so popular with the general public then this won’t be a problem will it?

ASH’S website hasn’t been updated since the 23rd of December.

dearieme said...

Talking of uncorking champagne, I see some support for my belief that it's wiser to jutify having a glass of wine on grounds of enjoying it, rather than with an appeal to dodgy "science".

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2012/01/12/a_resveratrol_research_scandal_oh_joy.php#comments

Anonymous said...

So they are getting their "swill" through the back door then.
Could be a trick to offset their growing unpopularity.

Anonymous said...

From Dave Atherton

I have just rung Earl Howe's office and no one picked up, but will try again later. I have also emailed him too.

Even if it was true I am sure Debs will get some cash from somewhere. I believe ASH International (20% funded by Pfizer) have put their hands in their pockets before.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on another timely and splendid piece of political research. Free marketeers everywhere can take heart as long as people like you are out there printing the critical facts at just the right moment. Well done!

Junican said...

""The department currently has no other plans to provide ASH with funding in the next financial year.""

Therein lies the hope - critically, the word 'other'. I trust that that means 'in addition to what they HAVE NOT asked for'! Well, one can hope, I suppose. Perhaps the 'fake charity' message is finally getting through.

So who will be paying the salaries then? Time to start on the BHF and CRUK, I'd say. How about a letter to CRUK and BHF asking what research in heart/lung disease ASH does? Drugs companies? Are they paying ASH's salaries? Why?

Anonymous said...

Over here (US) the equivalent Cancer Society and Heart Lung Association get great gobs of their money from the federal government anyway. If it works the same over there, ASH is still getting funded by the central government (aka the taxpayers), it's just going through an L-shaped pipeline.

Walt

Anonymous said...

I wrote to Earl Howe yesterday and received a very prompt and courteous reply.

Dear Lord Howe,

I hope you are well and looking forward to your weekend.

I am Chairman of Freedom2Choose a pro choice smoking organisation and
you have been kind enough to reply to me before. The reason is that I
understand from Hansard, it is strongly implied that ASH will not be receiving government funding for 2011-12.

"The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health
(Earl Howe): Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) received funding of
£210,000 in 2009-10 and £220,000 in 2010-11 through the department's
Section 64 General Scheme of Grants to Voluntary and Community
Organisations. ASH received these grants specifically to carry out a
defined project entitled Capitalising on Smokefree: the way forward."


To the best of your knowledge can you confirm.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely


Dave Atherton
Chairman
Freedom2Choose

Dear Mr Atherton

Thank you for your email.

I will ascertain what the current position is and ask my office to get back to you.

Yours sincerely

Frederick Howe

Mr A said...

Good news. But look at the Charity Commission website to see where CRUK and BHF get huge chunks of their cash. It's just swilling through their accounts first, it's still all of our tax money.

And if an enterprising honest politician cut ASH's funding through these charities then ASH US would step up to the plate. And if even that was somehow banned then Big Pharma would step in, and that wouldn't affect ASH's "impartial" status in the eyes of many as Big Pharma are good guys who really aren't evil swine at all, honest.

Still, it was encouraging to see how quickly the head of Alcohol Concern jumped ship once there was no more cash in the trough. It would indeed be nice to see the same happen to ASH.

Pat Nurse MA said...

Milton told me through my MP that "no decision has been taken on ASH's funding for 2011/12" and yet Debs Arnott told the world a few weeks ago on a Radio Five Live debate (on car bans when she was specifically asked about ASH's funding) that funding still came from the DoH.

Not sure I'm convinced they've lost it given the current Govt's fanatical stance on tobacco control. ASH and Public Health are brilliant at one thing - Lying. That's all I know for definite and so what if finding is now lost - the socially divisive and discriminatory damage has been embedded.

selsey.steve said...

So ASH is not getting money from the DoH but 'donations' from CRUK and BHF are still coming in.
Fine. How much do CRUK and BHF get from the Govt, and has that sum risen recently?
'Money laundering' is the phrase which comes to mind.