Labour pledges to repeal Lobbying act, voluntary sector 'shrinking', charities will not disclose top salaries under Sorp

Plus: FRC to investigate Cup Trust auditor, new fundraising think tank opens at Plymouth University, Big Society Capital takes £14.5m stake in Charity Bank

Angela Eagle, shadow leader of the Commons, says her party would scrap the Lobbying act
Angela Eagle, shadow leader of the Commons, says her party would scrap the Lobbying act

The Labour party has pledged to repeal the Lobbying act if it comes to power at the 2015 election. Angela Eagle, shadow leader of the Commons, said that her party would repeal the act and replace it with a universal register of all professional lobbyists, backed by a code of conduct and sanctions.

The voluntary sector is shrinking, according to figures in the UK Civil Society Almanac published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. The report says charities lost £1.3bn of income from central and local government in 2011/12 compared with the previous year.

Charities will not have to disclose the salaries of their highest-earning employees under recommendations for the new Statement of Recommended Practice, the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator have said. The regulators confirmed that charities that prepare accruals accounts will have to disclose only the pay of staff that earn more than £60,000 in bands of £10,000, without setting out further details such as individual job titles.

The Financial Reporting Council has extended its investigation into the Cup Trust tax-avoidance vehicle to include its auditor, Hillier Hopkins. In two years the Cup Trust, which was registered as a charity, raised £176m in donations, claimed £46m in tax relief but spent only £55,000 on charitable activities.

A new fundraising think tank, Rogare, has opened at Plymouth University. It will be run by Ian MacQuillin, former head of communications at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, and funding will be provided by the university for the first year with future funding coming from corporate partnerships and philanthropy.

Big Society Capital is investing up to £14.5m to take a major stake in the social lender Charity Bank. This will be its biggest single investment to date, and will enable the bank to increase the amount it lends to charities from £55m currently to about £250m by December 2018.

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