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Diocesan funds

17 July 2015

THE Draft Diocesan Funds (Amendment) Measure completed its revision stage and received final approval: Bishops 18 nem. con; Clergy 88 nem. con.; Laity 90-1.

The Measure updated the Diocesan Stipends Funds Measure 1953 to ensure that diocesan boards of finance had the same powers to make decisions about the balance of investments in the diocesan stipends funds as they had in relation to their other charitable property, John Booth (Chichester), who chaired the steering committee, explained.

He said that charities now had a power to invest on a “total return basis” if the trustees thought that it was in the interests of the charity to do so. “A charity that passes an appropriate resolution under the Charities Act is freed from the normal requirement to maintain a balance between income and capital returns. The trustees may therefore decide freely whether to allocate returns on investment for expenditure or for reinvestment.”

But the power to pass such a resolution “only applies where there is no express or implied statutory restriction which prevents the trustees of a charity from doing so”.

The Measure would remove the rule that “capital gains cannot be allocated to the income account of the fund for expenditure on stipends.” It was not a licence for DBFs to spend their stipends funds now at the expense of future generations. They were still obliged to “strike a balance between the interests of present and future beneficiaries”.

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