Charity Finance Directors' Group calls for charity panel to assess new laws

CFDG paper says more thought should be given to how legislation will affect charities

The Charity Finance Directors' Group has called on the Government to set up a review panel to look at all future legislation and check its likely effect on charities before it is passed.

In a position paper released this week, the umbrella body says charities suffer from too much regulation, and that much of this regulation has been poorly conceived.

"There is a need to improve the scrutiny of both primary and secondary regulation," the paper says. "We believe that the Government should set up a review panel to scrutinise all forthcoming regulation in relation to charities."  

The paper says regulations are often vague, duplicated elsewhere or require too much work for little benefit.

Charities are hampered by the complexity of the laws that affect tax, Gift Aid and trading, all of which demand that they meet complex legislative requirements, it adds.

Kate Hand, policy and campaigns officer at the CFDG, said the report had been drawn up partly in order to challenge political parties in the run-up to the next general election.

"We think there are some proposals in here that would be quick wins for any government," she said. "Many of these have been issues for charities for a long time. We expect that a review panel, for example, would save money for the Government.

"At the moment, legislation is often conceived without anyone realising its effect on charities," she added.

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