Britain's charity sector has ballooned since 1999, when the annual income was a mere £23 billion. Taking inflation into account, that is a 43% increase in the size of the sector in less than 15 years. Which other area of the UK economy has seen such growth?
Of note is that of the £59.9 billion raised in the year to the end of March 2013, £53 billion went to charities with an income of £500,000 or more. That is just 6% of UK charities taking 90% of the money.
Two questions spring to mind: why, when we have a charity sector with an income of just short of £60 billion annually, do we have a nation with 30% of the population in such poverty that they cannot "join in with society"?
But the bigger question is, what is driving this growth in the charity sector?
We believe the answer lies in a political ideology: Tony Blair's "Third Way" and David Cameron's "Big Society", which are in fact one and the same.
While Cameron and Osborne sell off the nation's assets to the private sector, including the NHS, there has been a parallel drive to move other government services into the charity sector.
Perhaps this explains why the lions share of the money is going to so few charities, who in fact are funded by central government and don't need to hit the streets with their collection tins and buckets?