Put more money into CIC Regulator, argues Social Enterprise UK

In a Budget submission to the Treasury, SEUK says there is a 'startling disparity' between funding for the CICR and the Charity Commission

CIC Regulator
CIC Regulator

Social Enterprise UK has called on the government to put more money into the CIC Regulator, arguing that it is underfunded in comparison with the Charity Commission.

In its Budget submission to the Treasury, SEUK says it has calculated that the commission’s £20m budget equates to £119 per charity on the register, but the CIC Regulator receives only £300,000, equivalent to £25 for each community interest company it regulates.

The submission says it is clear that the CIC Regulator is stretched and there is a "startling disparity" between the funding given to the two regulators. It argues that a "modest" increase in spending on the CIC regulator is necessary if it is to meet its obligations.

"While the analogy is not completely valid given the size of some charities and the legislative complexity of charity law (and we acknowledge that the Charity Commission is itself underfunded), a comparison between the CIC Regulator’s budget and the Charity Commission’s budget is illuminating," the submission says.

It adds that the CIC Regulator provides outstanding value for money, but "the issue is whether it can deliver effective and enabling regulation".

It also points out that the CIC Regulator, as a smaller organisation, does not benefit from the same economies of scale as a larger organisation such as the Charity Commission.

The CIC Regulator has seven members of staff, according to an operational report published in July 2015; the commission currently has 285 permanent, full-time equivalent staff members, according to its 2015/16 annual report.

"Consideration of greater funding for the CIC Regulator in order that it can be an enabling and effective regulator of this growing and inclusive form of business is sorely needed," the submission says.

The submission also calls for the government to create an overarching strategic framework aimed at supporting the social enterprise movement in England and for the eligibility criteria for discretionary rate relief to be standardised across the country.

The Budget is due to take place on 8 March.

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