Charity Commission budget to be cut by a further £450,000 over two years

Figures from the regulator show that its budget will fall by 1.14 per cent each year, to about £20.2m by 2015/16

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission's budget is to be cut by a further £450,000 over the next two years.

In last week’s Autumn Statement, the government announced that it was reducing most government department budgets.

Figures supplied by the commission show that, as a result of the spending reductions, its budget from HM Treasury will be cut by 1.14 per cent in 2014/15 and 2015/16. This will result in a budget decrease of £230,000 in 2014/15 and £220,000 in 2015/16. It means the commission’s annual budget will fall to about £20.2m by 2015/16.

The commission said that this represents a budget cut of almost 50 per cent in real terms compared with 2007/08, when it received £32.6m from government.

A spokeswoman for the commission said in a statement: "Between 2007/08 and 2015/16, there has been a real terms decrease of 48 per cent, and the further 1.14 per cent in 2014/15 and 2015/16 comes on top of this. This is very disappointing, having also recently seen a 6.3 per cent drop in our budget for 2015/16.

"We made it clear at the time that any further cuts would seriously jeopardise our ability to carry out our duties, given the levels we have already suffered. We are again in contact with the Treasury about this matter. We will be looking in detail at what changes are required to deliver the savings."

Last week, the National Audit Office was highly critical of the charity regulator in its report The Regulatory Effectiveness of the Charity Commission. It argued that the Charity Commission had failed to provide value for money or regulate charities effectively.

The report said that the commission had also failed to identify the level of budget it needed to properly regulate the sector.

Jay Kennedy, director of policy and research at the Directory of Social Change, said the further reductions to the commission’s budget were "sadly not unexpected".

"The coalition commitment to support the creation and expansion of charities, when seen in the light of its lack of investment in the Charity Commission, is basically a farce," he said.

"To put it in context, the Department for Work and Pensions just wrote off more than £40m of bad IT code for the Universal Credit system. That’s £40m of public spending into the pockets of IT companies, which achieves zero benefit to the public. The commission’s annual budget, after these cuts, will be about half that. It’s absurd – and sadly it says something about the government’s priorities."

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