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Money matters

Dear Auntie, I just learnt that my father, whom I haven't seen in years, plans to leave me a very large pile of dosh in his will. As this is the ill-gotten gains of his work as a Ministry of Defence fat-cat contractor, I know it was made at the expense of others' suffering. Does Auntie think I should keep or give it away? Almost filthy rich, London

January 30, 2008
2 min read

Dear Almost filthy rich,

Does money have a sense of history or shame or is it just a tangible commodity? Not a dilemma that appears to tweak the conscience of the Labour Party or many other political parties. It’s admirable that you might want to give it all away but in these days of pitiful pensions and financial insecurity you may live to regret it.

Auntie thinks that as the old man isn’t yet brown bread you have a bit of time to think about it, but her advice would be to first work out how much you need to be secure for the rest of you life and then invest this in ethical shares or in a savings account with a bank like Triodos. You could then pay of tithe of your father’s ill-gotten gains to the charitable or political causes of your choice

If what’s left after this is at least £250,000 and you can commit to donating at least £3,000 a year, then why not join the Network for Social Change? This network of the ethical rich funds non-charitable projects working for social and ecological change. As a member you would be involved in assessing, selecting and recommending projects for funding, so it’s not a passive process and may suit your politics and philosophy.

And of course, Red Pepper would appreciate a bit of help too, while Auntie will settle for a pie and a pint (or six).

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