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Complaints about ‘chuggers’ often due to ‘guilt transference’, Lord Hodgson tells MPs

Complaints about ‘chuggers’ often due to ‘guilt transference’, Lord Hodgson tells MPs


Many people object to ‘chuggers’ because they feel guilty about having to say no to charities, Lord Hodgson told a committee of MPs last week [16 October].

But giving evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee, which is reviewing the Charities Act 2006, Lord Hodgson, who led the government's official review of the act earlier this year, said that a lot of the hostility towards street fundraising arises because people “transfer” their guilt on to the fundraiser.

In response to a question from Conservative Charlie Elphicke MP, Lord Hodgson said: “We do have to recognise, all of us, that when I walk by a chugger working for a worthwhile cause, thinking I’m not going to sign a Direct Debit, I can feel an element of guilt, and I sometimes wish to transfer my guilt by saying he didn’t behave very well.

“There is an element where people…sometimes feel gosh that's a good cause, I ought to be doing something for them. I don’t want to but I want to find a reason in my own mind why I shouldn’t so there is some behaviour transference.”

Lord Hodgson also said that he did not thing statutory regulation of fundraising would be appropriate on grounds of cost and effectiveness and that self-regulation could produce a “worthwhile structure” that would “balance the right of the charity to ask with the right of the public not to be hassled”.