OSCR set to receive 10 per cent budget boost

Funds for the regulator from the Scottish government are due to rise to £3.3m in 2019/20

Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is set to receive a 10 per cent increase in its budget for the next financial year.

The Scottish government this month agreed a provisional allocation of £3.3m for 2019/20 – up from £3m this year.

The OSCR, a non-ministerial department of the government, regulates more than 24,000 charities. The number has increased for the past three years.

It employs 51 staff on a median average salary of £31,600.

The regulator warned in its annual accounts, published in the summer, that it was exploring charging Scottish charities to fund its work. The accounts said its budget had remained static in the face of rising staff costs and a commitment to make all of its services available online.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "The proposed budget uplift for the OSCR will help it to address caseload variations and continue digital improvements."

The OSCR's funding beyond 2020 is uncertain.

The government spokesman said: "We can only propose a single-year budget because the UK government has provided a resource budget settlement for 2019/20 only."

An OSCR spokesman hailed the proposed increase as "a positive step towards maintaining proportionate and preventative regulation of Scottish charities".

He said: "Our budget allocation had remained more or less static in cash terms since 2013/14 and this extra provision will help cover significantly increased costs over that time period, and should allow us to proceed with some improvement projects.

"This is however a one-year settlement only, and our planning for medium-term financial sustainability continues, with all options still on the table."

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