Senator Catherine Noone today called for regulation on ‘chuggers’ from our main streets in towns and cities, saying they “turn shopping streets into obstacle courses” and have “started to turn charity from an act of giving into an industry, with volunteers being replaced by people who are paid per hour”.
Senator Noone stated: “As somebody who gives a decent amount every year to charity, I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of people being paid per hour to stand with clipboards and attempt to sign people up for charitable direct debits. It seems counter to what charity is, and should be, all about”.
“Naturally, I should add that I am pro charities but certain unregulated methods are a step too far. I know charities are becoming more desperate as revenue drops but free reign is not the solution. There are many, many fantastic charities which don’t engage in this practice – and I’m keen to see us maintain our target for 0.7% of GNP going to overseas aid. However, there can be no doubt that something has to be done to curtail this avenue for charities – it is putting consumers off window shopping and, in the long run, it is damaging the brands of the charity”, the Senator added.
“Many of these fundraisers are using what I’d call underhand techniques: attempting to shake your hand, hug you, or even complimenting your dress sense.”
“I believe that charities do great work, however, I also believe that the practice of cajoling people on streets in towns and cities to sign up for direct debits is neither fair nor right and, as such, I believe we should look to regulate the practice”