The Charity Commission announced that its funding has been frozen until 2020. The Charity Commission has already lost half of its budget over the last few years and with this freeze the budget is actually decreasing every year as a result of inflation. The Conservative government in the UK has done a great job of undermining one of the most important charity regulators.
This is great news for all charity scammers and others who want to misuse charity resources. Here is a press release from the Charity Commission putting a postive spin on this bad news:
Charity Commission funding frozen until 2020
Posted: 25 Nov 2015 06:14 AM PST
The Chancellor has today announced in the Spending Review a freeze to the Charity Commission’s funding over the next 4 years. The current funding for the commission in 2015/16 is £20.3 million. The new financial settlement for the next 4 years up to 2019/20 will therefore remain as £20.3 million.
The settlement could translate into a real terms cut should the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) index revert to an inflationary position over the period. However the commission’s capital funding has been increased by 10% to £1 million per annum over the first 2 years of the settlement, rising to £1.2 million over the latter 2 years. This builds upon the £8 million ‘invest to save’ funding given to us to transform the way we work.
William Shawcross, Chairman of the Charity Commission, said:
This settlement - a freeze, not a cut - is recognition of the importance of the commission’s work. The recent high profile charity crises and the damage these have done to trust in charities shows the importance of an effective charity regulator.
The freeze will put more pressure on our staff. But we will continue to concentrate on increasing public trust and confidence in charities through being a strong and effective regulator.
We have already focused our expenditure on the highest risk work: fraud, safeguarding and counter-terrorism. We expect the new systems we are installing with the £8 million funding to deliver productivity gains, but there is little more we can do to reduce our costs without it affecting our regulatory work.
I am therefore committed to seeking a more sustainable funding base for the commission to ensure we can still protect individual charities from abuse and uphold public trust and confidence in the charitable sector. I will continue my discussions with charities to explore how this might be achieved.
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.