Call for Chancellor to fund Charity Commission from the public purse

Chancellor Philip Hammond is being urged to fund the Charity Commission from general taxation, rather than the proposed levy system.

Debra Allcock Tyler, Chief Executive or the Directory of Social Change, has written to the Chancellor to outline the reasons why charities should not be made to pay a fee to fund their own regulation.

The Directory of Social Change argues that the Charity Commission needed to be adequately funded, pointing to a number of recent budgetary cuts which have resulted in the departure of a number of senior, key Charity Commission staff. Ms Allcock Tyler claims this, in turn, has led to a reduction in the availability of help and advice for charity trustees.

Her letter also argues that the principle of using a levy to fund the Charity Commission is, in itself, wrong as it “siphon offs” public donations intended to fund charitable aims and would be yet another unwelcome overhead for charities to bear.

She warned that implanting a levy might lead to “bad or distorted” regulation, and leave the commission vulnerable to criticism for being open to influence from larger charities that account for a larger proportion of its budget.

“I strongly urge you to find an adequate settlement for the Charity Commission which does not involve charging charities,” wrote Ms Allcock Tyler.

“The commission’s work is critical to the effective functioning of hundreds of thousands of charities across England and Wales. Adequately funding it via general taxation is in the country’s best interest.”