The Diamond Dividend

What a fantastic idea.

A government adviser has written a paper suggesting that everyone should be encouraged to give 1% of their income to charity.  And when he says everyone, he means everyone – he’s suggested that the Queen lead the way as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

The paper itself, entitled The Diamond Dividend will be released later this week, and I’ll insert a link to it then, but for now but you can read about it in the Telegraph by clicking here.

The article’s author, Jonathan Wynne-Jones, wrote another article on the same day, reporting on Archbishop Vincent Nichols’ warning that “the roots of the financial crisis will not be addressed unless the banks learn not to sacrifice morality for profit”, but seems not to have made the connection between them.

We can’t tell ‘the banks’ to act morally and responsibly with our money if we are not prepared to do the same.  Let’s model generosity and self-sacrifice to the world and use our money (as well as our time, gifts and other resources) to do good in the world, not just to serve our own desires.

When you think how much money 1% of your income represents, it may seem like quite a chunk, but imagine if you were told that you were getting a pay rise of 1% – that recently happened to us, and some of my colleagues ridiculed it as tokenistic and as if it would barely make a difference – ‘Don’t spend it all at once!’  If it’s a tiny amount when it’s offered to you, wouldn’t it be a tiny amount to give away?

I really hope this proposal takes off, and I’m thinking of writing to Her Majesty supporting the idea.  Imagine if our country’s leaders started blazing a trail of generosity and morality, what a nation we could become!

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