NCVO response to Charity Commission funding announcement

Commenting on the announcement that the Charity Commission will be consulting on implementing new fees for charities, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, said:

An effective regulator is a crucial part of the foundation for a strong charity sector. I'm pleased that the Treasury has allocated additional funding for the Commission to carry out its important regulatory work.

On charging, Sir Stuart said:

I still do not believe that charities should pay for the core regulatory functions of the Commission. These should remain publicly funded. Yesterday’s announcement suggests that the additional Treasury allocation is for the short term only, and the Commission will in time look to charities to cover not only this same sum but also more.

Any public debate about future funding should start with absolute clarity on the scale and cost of the Commission’s core regulatory work and of the additional activities it also wishes to undertake. Only then should we ask whether charities should make a contribution.

NCVO last year set out five tests that it would assess any charging proposals against, the first being that income from charging should be additional to, not a replacement for government income.

  1. That the Treasury continues to provide the necessary direct funding to the Charity Commission, so that any income generated through charging is additional and not a replacement
  2. That the additional funding is used to provide services that are identified and developed on the basis of evidenced needs
  3. That proceeds of any charging are not substantially consumed by the cost of collection
  4. That the fees charged are affordable and don’t have a disproportionate impact on charities’ sustainability
  5. That the financial contribution made by charities is balanced out by a change to the governance appointments process, to ensure stronger independence and avoid any stakeholder interests

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact NCVO's media centre.

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