Senior managers in call to relax criteria on trading in-house

The Government should relax rules that prevent charities from trading in-house, according to a survey of senior managers from the voluntary sector.

Chief executives' umbrella body Acevo and the Charity Finance Directors' Group wrote to Charities Minister Fiona Mactaggart last week, urging an end to the "nonsensical red-tape" that forces charities to set up separate companies if they generate more than £50,000 a year through trading, or more than 25 per cent of their total turnover.

Their intervention follows last month's report by the Parliamentary committee scrutinising the draft Charities Bill, which recommended that the £50,000 threshold be revised upwards.

But a poll of 50 chief executives and finance directors revealed that 95 per cent of them want the Government to go further and abolish the financial threshold on trading altogether, but they do support the continuation of the 25 per cent of turnover limit.

Acevo chief executive Stephen Bubb said: "The current limits on trading are patronising, counter-productive and a hindrance to effective organisations."

See Editorial, p17.

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