Treasury gives Charity Commission go ahead to consult on charging

Written by Joe Lepper

The Charity Commission has received Treasury backing to launch a consultation on charging charities to fund its work.

The regulator says chief secretary to the Treasury David Gauke MP has green lit a formal consultation on the plans.

Details of the consultation are now being arranged by the Charity Commission, alongside civil society minister Rob Wilson and officials in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

In a joint letter to the House of Lords select committee on charities, the regulator’s chair William Shawcross and chief executive Paula Sussex confirmed that the consultation is expected to launch “shortly” and that the Charity Commission is committed to “consulting openly and widely”.

The move has been taken after former chancellor George Osborne made it a condition of the Charity Commission’s £8m in ‘invest to save’ funding in 2014 that the regulator explored the possibility of being part funded by charities.

Shawcross and Sussex’s letter says that it met with Wilson last week to look at areas of its work that could be funded by the sector.

“Evidence submitted to the Committee has reinforced the real need for institutional support in governance, as well as the vital role the Commission has to play in ensuring trustees meet the high standards that the public expect. A properly funded regulator is therefore vital. We believe that it would be irresponsible not to hold this discussion now, rather than wait until it is too late,” their letter adds.

Potential charging models for charities were put forward at the Charity Commission’s annual meeting in March last year.

The House of Lords select committee on charities is to publish a report this weekend into the challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

This follows its ten-month enquiry that has also been looking at advocacy work provided by charities as well as how they are supported and regulated by government and the Charity Commission.

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