Ahead of the Autumn Budget the chief executives of the Charity Finance Group, Acevo, Navca and the Small Charities Coalition have written to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to call for an increase to the Charity Commission’s annual grant.
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of CFG; Vicky Browning, chief executive of Acevo; Jane Ide, chief executive of Navca; and Mandy Johnson, chief executive of SCC, have written to Elizabeth Truss, warning that the government is putting charitable funds at “risk” by not properly resourcing the regulator.
They said that there is “rising demand” for the Commission’s services and that inflation is “eroding the real terms value of the grant given by government”.
The Commission had been expected to launch a consultation on options for charging large charities a fee for regulation, but it has been delayed following the general election.
In the letter today, charity leaders described charging charities for regulation as a “charity tax” and said they are opposed to it because it would force charities to “hand over donors’ money to subsidise the regulator and threaten its independence in the eyes of the public”.
They suggested that additional government funding could be used to carry out more public outreach and to support trustees.
“It is a false economy to cut back on regulation and undermine the public trust which underpins this contribution. We hope that you will give consideration to additional resources for the Charity Commission in the upcoming Autumn Budget,” they said.
The Directory of Social Change has also written to Truss to call for an increase in the Commission's grant.
In a letter from its chief executive, Debra Allcock Tyler, it said: "Recent cuts have forced the Commission to prioritise enforcement and compliance functions. These are important, but such an approach on its own would be short-sighted because it risks storing up bigger and more costly problems for the long-term.
"DSC wants any extra funds spent on accessible guidance and advice for charity trustees, for example via the helpline and the website, as well as improvements to and awareness of the online register of charities. A few million pounds from government could go a long way to support the sector’s hundreds of thousands of charities and millions of volunteers."