MPs ask charities to give their views on government support for the sector during the pandemic

Charities are being invited to give MPs their views on government support for the voluntary sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced £750m of emergency funding in April to help charities affected by the outbreak.

A total of £360m was allocated by government departments to charities providing key services and £370m was distributed to small charities by the National Lottery Community Fund and its equivalent bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which scrutinises government spending, has opened a call for evidence as part of an inquiry into government support for charities during the pandemic.

The committee said its inquiry would question senior officials at DCMS and the Charity Commission on how well the funding has been distributed and whether it was achieving its objectives.

Sector leaders were critical of the length of time it took for the emergency funds to be made available to frontline charities.

In July, it was revealed that only one per cent of £200m in emergency funding that had been allocated to the National Lottery Community Fund had been handed out.

The government eventually announced in November that more than 8,000 charities had been allocated a share of the £200m.

The National Audit Office also opened an ongoing investigation last year into the government’s support of charities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Any individual or organisations wishing to submit evidence to the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry should do so here by 6pm on 8 March.

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