'Open the door' to business people

Charities should offer more employee secondments for private sector workers if they want to cultivate greater corporate support, Sir Digby Jones, director-general of the CBI, said on Monday.

Delivering the inaugural Sir Paul Getty Charity Lecture in London, Jones said companies were willing to go further in supporting charities, but added that a significant increase in charitable giving would only happen if charities "opened their doors wider".

The Government needed to provide the right climate by abstaining from further increases in company tax, he said. "We all know the tale of the good Samaritan," he explained. "But he was only able to lend a hand because he had a few bob. If business tax is hiked ever higher, there won't be the funds to allow firms to give more back."

Jones also took on the subject of public service reform, declaring that the voluntary sector's role should be given greater prominence. "Depressingly, the voluntary sector is often ignored," he said. "But charitable concerns were providing a social safety net long before the Government began to get its act together."

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