Delay consultation on charging for regulation, Charity Commission is urged

The Charity Finance Group, the Small Charities Coalition and Navca have written to the regulator saying the decision to leave the EU has caused too much uncertainty over charity finances

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

Three charity umbrella bodies have called on the Charity Commission to delay any plans to run a consultation on charging for the regulator’s services, because of uncertainty created by the referendum result.

A letter from the chief executives of the Charity Finance Group, the Small Charities Coalition and the local infrastructure body Navca says the three bodies have made numerous representations highlighting flaws with the concept of charging charities for regulation.

But it calls on the commission to postpone any plans to run a formal consultation on charging for charity regulation in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

"Given the uncertainty facing our sector and the multitude of other issues that we need to grapple with, it is clearly not the right time to start a consultation on charging for regulation; an issue that carries great importance for the future of our sector," it says.

It points out that the fiscal environment for the commission might change after the government announced in the wake of the referendum result that it had dropped plans to create a budget surplus by 2020.

This means it could be wise for the regulator to wait until after the government has set out a new fiscal framework before pushing ahead with plans to charge charities for regulation, the letter says.

It says that the three organisations will make the case for increased state funding of the regulator.

The commission has for years been considering charging charities for its services, and earlier this year it set out some ideas for how it could work.

A spokesman for the Charity Commission said it had not yet had the chance to consider the letter fully, but would reply in due course.

"The outcome of the EU referendum will have a significant impact on all of society, including charities and their beneficiaries," he said. "We have spoken with a number of charities that are considering what involvement they might have in answering some of the questions the result has posed. We are also considering what impact the outcome will have on our future work plans."

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