Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude told sector leaders at last night’s Charity Awards that the recent u-turn over the charity tax relief cap came about because the government had listened to the outcry from the sector.
Before announcing HALO Trust as the overall winner for the night, he said: “It’s a great pleasure to be invited back. You never quite know whether that will happen, especially in light of things that happened in the meantime.”
He went on: “I’ve been given three minutes, so there goes my 45-minute speech – is that what you call a u-turn?”
He then joked: “Talking of u-turns, we were only teasing.”
On a more serious note, he went on: “We did listen and we do know that there are charities big and small that depend on donations. This is really important and is a huge part of this country’s rich fabric of charitable organisations.”
He praised the “extraordinary organisations and extraordinary people doing things, most of them actually really unsung and unknown and not glamorous or celebrity-ridden or high-profile, but because of what extraordinary people do, make a difference to people’s lives”.
He said the UK was “incredibly lucky” to have such a strong voluntary sector and “it’s genuinely a privilege to be here to share in the event and to celebrate so much that is otherwise unsung and uncelebrated”.
Reaffirming the government’s desire to “support the sector the best way we can”, he highlighted Big Society Capital’s launch earlier this year as a key development.