The Charity Commission’s budget for 2015-16 will be cut by just over six percent as part of the Chancellor’s latest Spending Review.
While this is less than the proposed reduction of ten percent, it will still have a significant impact on the Commission’s ability to fulfil its core responsibilities and is likely to result in a poorer service for charities.
“We will be evaluating the impact of this settlement on our strategic plans over the coming weeks, which will involve looking at the future shape of the organisation,” said a statement from the Commission.
“Inevitably there will be a further reduction in posts resulting from a loss of £1 million in funding, but we are seeking to minimise the impact of any changes on our frontline activity.”
Previously, when asked by the Treasury to propose ways in which it could make savings of ten percent in 2015-16, the Commission responded that “there is no more fat to cut”, while repeating previous suggestions that it could take a slice of Gift Aid or directly levy charities for the regulatory services provided.
The Commission also said that further cuts could result in a reduction in the number of serious investigations it performed, as well as an extension to the time taken for “lower-risk facilitative work” – including approving changes to charities’ governing documents or the sale of their land or property – and registering charities.
“All of this would make charities less efficient and adaptable, and have a negative impact on the operations of charities and on public trust and confidence in the Commission and the sector,” said chief executive Sam Younger.
While it is yet unclear what the overall impact of the lower than anticipated funding reduction will be, previous cuts have already resulted in a scaling back of the assistance and guidance small charities and voluntary trustees have relied on – making it more imperative than ever that they seek dedicated, professional advice.
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