Regulator set to postpone public benefit guidance

The publication of the Charity Commission's guidance on public benefit may be delayed because of the huge response to the consultation on the subject.

The regulator had initially planned to publish its main guidance on what constitutes public benefit in October, but has now put the schedule on hold after receiving more than 900 responses to its consultation.

"We were delighted with the very high number of responses, but we need to work through them carefully to consider the implications of what people have said to us," a spokeswoman for the commission said.

Under the Charities Act 2006, all charities will have to prove they offer public benefit. It will no longer be assumed that organisations working to relieve poverty or advance education or religion provide public benefit.

The consultation included specific questions about how the public benefit test might apply to fee-charging charities such as independent schools, because lawyers had questioned the regulator's interpretation of the law earlier this year (Third Sector, 23 May).

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