12/01/2013

Aw, Poor Public Schools

Three private schools in Scotland could lose their charitable status. Which makes you ask the question, "Why do these schools get charitable statuses in the first place?"

When you think of a charity you think of helping those less fortunate. It's not like if these schools are no longer charities no one will be there to help the children of the well to do.

When you say, "Oh, I give a lot to charity," people think you're being altruistic, and not giving the money to the school you pay to send your kids too.

If these schools were really charities we'd see adverts on ITV2 during the day that go like this...

[We see a black and white picture of a young floppy-haired boy wearing a blazer.]
MVO: This is Nathan. He wants to be a city banker, but he doesn't know where his next Latin lesson is coming from. With your help we can give Nathan the classical education he needs.
[We see Nathan getting a wedgie from the bigger boys.]
MVO: Just £5-a-day can help Nathan to one day become an inconsiderate BMW driver who'll cut you up. Teach a man a trade and he can feed himself every day. Teach a man to make the right friends in the old boys' network, and he'll never need to really do a days work again.

Fettes College and St George's School for Girls, both Edinburgh, and St Columba's School in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, have failed the regulator's charity test and been warned they must do more to help pupils from low-income families.

Of course they don't help low-income families, they help the rich. If a school gets charity status the parents of the children going to those schools can make donations which can be used to reduce their tax bill. Such donations can also keep the official payments for that school lower than they would be otherwise.

So the rich parents can buy their children a head start in life and get to pay less tax in the process. And it's that tax that would go to the state to really help low-income families. It's a tax fiddle and it's wrong.

Says the man writing this in a Starbucks.

>Read the source story
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