It’s time charities paid: charities, regulators and fees

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On 14 October 2010, Sky News misreported that the government intended, when ushering in the age of austerity, to abolish the Charity Commission. Rumours of the commission’s death (on the so-called ‘bonfire of the quangos’) proved exaggerated but there should be no underestimating the extent of the cuts. The commission’s funding is being reduced by 33 per cent in real terms over the period 2011−12 to 2014−15.

In the meantime, pressure continues to grow for the commission to do more with less. On 4 June 2013, the Public Accounts Committee published a blistering critique of the commission, some parts of it better informed than others, focusing largely around a perception that the commission is reluctant to use its statutory powers to open inquiries and remove trustees. The commission was quick to point out the constraints under which it was working — and the fact that the majority of its work relates to granting the consents and authorisations that charities are required by law to obtain. But the committee remains unimpressed and is urging the commission to do more…

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