'Fury and disgust' at Treasury decision on Iceland deposits

Save our Savings charity coalition plans to take Government to judicial review

Charities are preparing to take the Government to court after being refused compensation for money lost in failed Icelandic banks.

Voluntary organisations reacted with fury and disgust to Friday's response from the Treasury, which turned down calls from the Treasury Select Committee to fully compensate the 30 charities that had £50m invested in banks such as Kaupthing, Singer & Friedlander.

Peter Hepburn, chief executive of Cats Protection and co-chairman of Save our Savings, the coalition of charities that had money in the failed banks, said charities were "absolutely furious" and would not give up.

"We have been very courteous with the Government and it hasn't worked," he said. "We have been left with no choice but to go to judicial review. It may be some of us; it may be all. But we are going to do it."

The Treasury Select Committee report said: "At a time when more people than ever may be faced with difficult circumstances, we believe it is imperative that charities have access to the funds that were provided to them by the public."

But the Treasury ruled that charities should not be treated any differently to other organisations.

Hepburn said: "I feel incredibly angry that the report has been blatantly ignored by those in power and I see this as the Government effectively turning its back on charities.

"SOS represents a wide range of good causes that simply do not deserve to be treated with such disregard."

Khalid Aziz, chairman of children's hospice Naomi House and co-chairman of SOS, said: "I am thoroughly disgusted with the Government's refusal to do the right thing.

"Once again it is charities, who rely on publicly donated money, who are left high and dry."

John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said he was "extremely disappointed" with the verdict.
Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said: "It is shocking that the Government has decided to reject the recommendations of the Treasury Select Committee. The individual charities affected will feel very let down by the decision."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in