Commission expects £1m underspend

The Charity Commission is expecting to record an underspend of more than £1m against its 2007/08 budget because, in anticipation of next year's funding cuts, it has stopped replacing staff when they leave.

The £1.17m underspend will bring the commission's total reserves to £3.6m. Nick Allaway, information and corporate services director at the commission, told the regulator's board meeting last week that the money had been saved because of a freeze on recruitment ahead of 5 per cent year-on-year budget cuts announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review last October.

“With three years of cuts, we have any number of candidates to use the money,” he said.

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, dismissed board members’ fears that the Treasury would not find an underspend credible in the regulator’s current economic circumstances and might refuse to release the money at a later date.

“We told HMRC that we need to be able to build up a reserve if we are to sustain the cuts,” he said.

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