Charity Commission to consult on making charities pay for regulation
The Charity Commission will consult in the spring on charging charities for regulation, a public meeting heard yesterday. Jane Hobson, head of policy at the Charity Commission, said that the regulator has begun working on a number of funding proposals which would see charities fund the regulator, and will be opening a consultation on the issue in the spring.
The Commission put forward a number of options for funding from the sector to the regulator, which may appear in the consultation, including a fixed fee of £140 a year for all registered charities and a fixed fee of £265 a year for all registered charities with incomes over £10,000 a year. The Commission said that this would raise roughly £23m worth of funding for the regulator every year.
The proposal met with significant resistance one trustee of a small educational charity said that “all of those proposed fees would be astronomical for small charities”.
Another small charity representative said the Commission would “throw away your reputation and your independence” by charging charities. “You will only further lose the trust of the public and of the charities you claim to represent,” he said.
William Shawcross, chair of the Charity Commission, said that the issue was not about paying the regulator’s staff better, but rather that, while the £21m funding from the treasury the Commission currently receives is fixed for the life of the parliament; the budget may be cut further in the future.
“The question here is not about paying our people, our staff better, although they should be paid more. It is more the worry that the Charity Commission will not be able to do its job properly in five years’ time. If our budget was to be further cut in the life of the next parliament to, say, £15m, the Commission would simply not be able to do its job”.
Hobson said that once the consultation on this issue has finished, a proposal would be put to ministers in the autumn and said that the system wouldn’t be implemented until 2018/19. Original story appear on www.civilsociety.co.uk