Charity Commission is spinning


imagesCVTY3IHVLast week the Charity Commission issued a press release which stated “The public and charities overwhelmingly support new powers for the Charity Commission to regulate charities, new independent research published today shows. As new legislation to strengthen the regulator’s powers is before Parliament, four-fifths (83%) of the public and over nine-tenths (92%) of charities support new powers being introduced for the commission.” Its not unreasonable to assume that bodies such as the Commission, whilst very much part of the Government, and therefore linked to political machinery, can be trusted to speak truthfully. However this statement is not a very reliable representation of the research that was published on Thursday and one could suggest that spin has crept or even strode into this press release. The research asked members of the public if they were aware of the Charity Commission, and only 47% of those interviewed had done so. This was a smaller number than when previous research was carried out, a reduction from 55% in 2014 and 55% in 2013. Whilst it is true that apparently both the public and charities support new powers being given to the Commission, 72% of the public believe that charities are effectively regulated and only 14% of the public believe they are not. I have written before about the problems created for the Charity Commission when first the coalition and now the Conservative Government drastically cut the budget for the agency. It appears all too easy for our Governments to cut budgets, and then propose new legislation as if the one can compensate for the other. Unfortunately this strategy rarely provides what is really needed which in the case of regulating and supporting our charitable sector is a meaningful investment in infrastructure and a simplified rules and regulations. It is clear that the Charity Commission has fallen victim to this worn out strategy of the Government, something I forsaw when the Commission website became subsumed into the GOV.UK web domain. Perhaps next time we are asked by Conservative Parliamentary candidates if we will vote for them, we could remind them that their Party has overseen a long term reduction in awareness of the Charity Commission!

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About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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