NCVO Pointers on PASC Review of Charity Act
- 06 Jun
NCVO have released some key pointers to help understand the inquiry in to the Charity Act.
The report on the implementation of the Charities Act 2006 says the Charity Commission is being asked to do too much, with too little.
The charitable sector is at the heart of UK society, involving millions of people and £9.3 billion received in donations in 2011/2012. Around 25 new applications for charitable status are received by the Charity Commission every working day.
Summary of the PASC report on the state of the legislation that regulates charities and their charitable status says that:
- one of the keys tests set by the Charities Act 2006 for determining charitable status-the public benefit test-is "critically flawed";
- the Government should revise the statutory objectives for the Charity Commission, to allow the Commission to focus its limited resources on regulating the sector;
- the proposal to increase the financial threshold for compulsory registration of a charity with the Charity Commission should be rejected;
- charities should publish their spending on campaigning and political activity.
NCVO have given a brief summary to help understand the report released by the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC).
Public benefit: Possibly the most significant part of the report. Whereas currently charities are required to demonstrate that they provide a public benefit, the report suggests that a presumption of public benefit should be re-instated. (Although this is slightly unclear, as the Upper Tribunal has clarified that there was never a presumption in the first place.) It also suggests a greater role for parliament in defining public benefit.
Charity Commission: the report recommends revising the Commission's statutory objectives, to ensure it can focus on regulation. We agree that the Commission's regulatory role must be its core focus. While greater clarity on this may be welcome, this must not be an excuse to curtail the Commission's powers.
Registration threshold: the Committee does not propose raising the current threshold.
Charges: the Committee rejects the idea of introducing charges for registration or submission of annual accounts.
Penalties: the Committee supports Lord Hodgson's proposal that the Charity Commission should introduce some form of penalty for late filing of accounts.
Payment of trustees: the Committee shares NCVO's view that voluntary trusteeship is a key pillar of our sector, and that as a matter of principle trustees should not be paid.
Campaigning: we were a bit concerned about what the report would say here, especially considering the strong views expressed by some members of the Committee during the evidence sessions. While giving perhaps a little bit too much attention to those who think charity campaigning should be restricted, it is reassuring that the report recognises that the current rules on charity campaigning are fit for purpose and should not be tinkered with.
- 20 Apr
CHARITY WORKS TOWARDS A NATIONAL PLAN TO END HOMELESSNESS
Prime minister, Theresa May and the first ministers of Scotland and Wales congratulated "Crisis" on its anniversary and gave an assurance to work hand in hand with them while on a quest to eradicate...
- 30 Jan
THE FATE OF EU-FUNDED PROJECTS AND ITS EFFECT ON CHARITY SERVICES
In March 2016, forecasts of growth were low and the government's own estimates put the Treasury's coffers £122bn poorer by 2020.The supreme court has also determined that MPs must approve the...
- 15 Jun
INCREASE IN THREATS OF EVICTIONS FROM HOMES
After analysing statistics from the Ministry of Justice, the housing charity (Shelter) found the following:In the past year, the number of people seeking advice from 'Shelter' on their eviction...
- 07 Jun
CHARITIES, THEIR BRANDS, BENEFICIARIES AND HOW TO EFFECT CHANGE
"Most charities exist because their founders believed the future could be different if they mobilised supporters", but Mandy Johnson of the Guardian believes"This vision is being lost."Charities are...
- 17 Apr
Support for veterans to return to work
Places for People hopes to support veterans into the workplace and also benefit from the skills and experience they have to offer, reports 24dash.All veterans applying for jobs in Places for People's...
- 26 Jan
Charity registers as social landlord
It has now registered its housing department as a housing association, Inside Housing reports.The charity set up Golden Lane Housing (GLH) in 1998, which has now registered to be a social landlord...
- 14 Jan
Charity to develop app for people with disabilities
The funding will enable the charity to develop and test the free app, called FlyCatcher, which could be on the market by 2016.The app uses iBeacon technology to send information through smartphones...
- 14 Jan
Young people’s health harmed by fuel poverty
The Department of Energy and Climate Change have reported that 10% of households in England were in fuel poverty.The charity, Turn2us have stated that 75% of the 2,060 adults in the PRS who were...
- 08 Jan
Homelessness in Scotland
Shelter Scotland stated that this percentage is ‘disproportionate' to the sector's size which makes up 13% of all housing in Scotland, Inside Housing reports. It was also mentioned that the number...
- 07 Jan
Homelessness an ‘increasing trend’ in Wales
Cais blames the lack of options available to individuals due to the change in the type of support that can be offered.The Chief Executive of Cais, Clive Wolfendale has described the problem of...
Responding to the DWP Consultation: Housing Benefit Reform - Supported Housing "It was well-run, in a good location, and very useful. I've only one suggestion; as the session went on it would perhaps have been useful for bullet points of general agreement about what should be in the sector response to be displayed and added to as the session went on, maybe on a flip chart. Regarding your response paper, I particularly like the answer you give to question 9. In fact the general: "if it ain't broke don't fix it" response could be pushed harder." M.P. - Adref Ltd