MPs Tackle Charity ChallengesPosted: February 7, 2013
This weeks Cabinet Office questions saw MPs focus on the challenges facing the charitable sector, and a renewed interest in some of the troubling statistics uncovered by the Back Britain’s Charities campaign.
Opening the session, Hugh Bayley MP used statistics from the UK Giving 2012 report to ask the Government what resources are being provided to the charity sector to ensure it can continue to provide services. In response Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, told Mr Bayley that the Government is “encouraging giving, volunteering, social investment, and we are trying to make it easier for charities to help deliver public services.”
Andrew Gwynne MP then raised CAF research that showed that 85% of respondents were concerned about “the future financial viability of charitable giving,” and asking about the Government’s assessment of these figures. Mr Hurd responded and told the House that the Government has introduced new tax incentives for giving including the gift aid small donations scheme, and the Government is “showing a great deal of creativity in trying to connect people with the chance to give and support charities in their communities.”
Later in the session, Graeme Morrice MP referenced CAF’s senior charity workers survey, which showed that one in six charities fear having to close in the next year, and asked “what action the Government is taking to prevent charities from going to the wall?” Mr Hurd told Mr Morrice that “the Treasury has introduced new tax incentives for giving, and is working hard to make gift aid better for the charity sector.” He went on to explain that the Government is looking at how gift aid can be reformed, as well as how payroll giving can be made to work more effectively.
It is extremely positive to see these issues given an airing in Parliament, and to see that MPs both in the Government and Opposition have many ideas that could benefit charities. More and more Parliamentarians are Backing Britain’s Charities, and we are excited to be working with them to support charities across the country.