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Charity Commission ‘already lean’

21 June 2013

THE Charity Commission has warned the Government that "there is no more fat to cut": if its budget is cut further, it says, it will have to either reduce the number of serious investigations it undertakes, or slow down its work, creating backlogs for charities.

The Commission has written to the Treasury in advance of the Comprehensive Spending Review, set to take place next Wednesday. The Treasury has asked all departments to outline how they could make savings of ten per cent in 2015-16. The Commission states that it has already had to adapt to a 50-per-cent cut in its budget over the last three spending reviews, cutting 120 posts since 2010.

It suggests that the Government consider a new funding model, such as a top-slicing of the £1 billion in Gift Aid given to charities every year, or a levy directly on charities.

Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group, said earlier this month that it shared the Commission's concerns, but was "firmly against" the suggestion to charge charities.

"How would you devise a system that is fair to all given the enormous range of charities and variations in levels of Gift Aid claimed?" she asked.

"Charging one-off payments for registration or access to services could act as a deterrent to engaging with the regulator, place a significant burden on smaller charities, and [place] pressure on the Commission to generate a certain level of revenue."

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