CFG urges government to make increase in regulator's funding permanent

The Charity Finance Group has written to charities minister Tracey Crouch to say the extra £5m announced this week shows 'there is a strong business case' for public investment in the Charity Commission

The Charity Finance Group has written to the charities minister, Tracey Crouch, to urge her to help make the Charity Commission’s increase in funding permanent.

Earlier this week, the Treasury gave the commission £5m in additional interim funding – a 25 per cent increase on its annual budget – to help the regulator deal with "significant increases in demand on its core regulatory functions, including registration and compliance".

The announcement said that a consultation would be held later this year on charging charities to fund the commission’s engagement work, through which it hopes will raise an additional £7.5m a year.

But a letter to Crouch from Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the CFG, says that although the new funding for the commission is welcome the minister should ask the Treasury to maintain and increase it in the long term.

Bradshaw says that effective regulation is crucial to ensure public confidence in the sector and charging charities to fund the regulator could threaten the public’s perception of the regulator’s independence.

The letter says: "The fact that the government has seen fit to give an extra £5m to the Charity Commission is recognition that there is a strong business case for public investment in the work of the commission.

"This funding is only short term and the announcement said that a consultation on charging would follow shortly. However, charging carries with it a host of risks to the work and independence of the Charity Commission, not to mention the distraction that this consultation will create at a time when we have much more pressing issues to consider."

The letter says that the funding for the commission is important when "charities are delivering services which are taking pressure off the public sector at a time when it is grasping with significant demographic and financial pressures".

The Charity Commission was asked by Third Sector for further details on the new funding, including for how long it had been granted and whether it would be used to hire any new staff, but a spokeswoman for the regulator declined to comment.

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