Younger says Charity Commission has considered charging for services

The commission's chief executive says several payment models have been considered, but a change to the Charities Act would probably be required

Sam Younger, Charity Commission chief executive
Sam Younger, Charity Commission chief executive
The Charity Commission has considered charging charities for some services, according to Sam Younger, its chief executive.

Younger told a public meeting, held by the Charity Finance Directors' Group in London yesterday, that the commission had considered different ways of charging for the services it provides.

One possibility was an annual tiered charge for registration, with large organisations paying more than smaller ones.

Rosie Chapman, executive director of policy and effectiveness at the commission, said this could involve charities with annual incomes of more than £5m paying £5,000 a year, with smaller charities paying much less.

She said the overall level of fees would be "relatively modest".

According to Younger, the commission had considered a "hybrid model" where services that it was statutorily required to supply remained free, but additional advice and guidance services were paid for or received through subscription.

However, he said that any decision to charge would be likely to require a change in the Charities Act, which he said he did not expect "within the life of this Parliament".

Younger also said commission staff had suggested it should concentrate its efforts on ensuring charities complied with legislation, rather than on providing advice and guidance.

"There is a sense that actually the compliance work is the area that only the commission can do," he said. "Whereas other bodies can help charities run themselves effectively."

In response to a question, Younger also said there was "not a chance" that the commission could merge with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

"We're more likely to see an independent regulator in Wales than a unified one for the UK," he said.

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