UK aids Jewish group with taxpayer money
Hindu group says the cloudy financing of the government-led A Year of Service project is ‘unacceptable’
The British government has granted a lavish £65,000 of taxpayers’ money to a Jewish group to fund its religious charity work as part of a government-led program while other participants were told they had to dip into their own pockets.
A Hindu group, which has now pulled out of A Year of Service program over the program’s questionable finances, said officials at the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) “stonewalled” its inquiries about the project’s finances.
A Year of Service program was launched in January to encourage all religious and non-religious groups to engage in charity work during 2012.
Different groups including, the Hindu Sewa Day charity, were told they have to fund their own initiatives as individual projects will not be funded by the government.
However, Sewa Day, which represented the Hindu community in the government-led program, said a DCLG letter to the Hindu Forum of Britain back in March shows the government has allocated £65,000 to the Jewish group Mitzvah Day to organize its work around the project.
Chairman of Sewa Day Arup Ganguly said the government claimed the funding has been made to the Jewish group for the management of the government’s project but his requests for the details of the proposed spending were snubbed raising questions about the “transparency” of A Year of Service finances.
“We are committed to the highest levels of accountability and transparency, and it’s unacceptable that the Department for Communities and Local Government isn’t too,” Ganguly said.
“We don’t have a problem if taxpayer monies are being utilized for the benefit of all groups taking part and their underlying communities but despite asking we have been told that we will not receive any detailed answers. This is unacceptable,” he added.
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