Coronavirus: Over 100 MPs sign letter to chancellor asking for emergency charity funding

Hundreds of MPs have signed a joint letter to chancellor Rishi Sunak asking for emergency funding for charities on the brink of insolvency.

The letter was coordinated by Stephen Doughty, Labour and Co-ip MP for Cardiff South and Penarth on Saturday after charity leaders warned the sector risks losing billions of pounds as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter addressed to the chancellor, has called for emergency funding for charities working on the frontline to protect beneficiaries from covid-19. It also asked for a ‘stabalisation fund’, which would help all charities struggling financially as a result of the crisis.

MPs and peers from across the charity and political space also asked for confirmation that charities would be included in any other business interruption measures.

So far, the chancellor has announced a number of measures to protect businesses during the pandemic, but has come under criticism for failing to offer the same levels of funding for non-profits.

“We are writing to you as a cross party group of MPs and peers to ask for urgent action to be taken on supporting charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises, given the unprecedented situation, and their ability to play a crucial role in the national response to coronavirus,” the letter said.

It added that charities offer “crucial support” to make parts of our society and can help to “alleviate pressure” from the NHS and social care services by providing support to people suffering from the economic and social impact of the pandemic.”

On Friday, the NCVO warned a total of £4.3bn in charitable income could be wiped from across the sector in the coming 12 weeks, although the figure could “be far higher” in reality.

NCVO chief executive, Karl Wilding, said “every day counts here”.

“I’m hearing from charities whose income has disappeared overnight but who still have to run services for their communities. Many of them have very little emergency cash to tide them over, and even those that do will run out in a matter of weeks,” he said.

MPs welcomed announcements of financial support foe employers, businesses and people, but said charities require ‘more detailed clarification’ of where they are eligible for this kind of support.

“Without immediate injection of money, many charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises of all sizes will soon close. Funds are running out,” the letter added.

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