Regulator lacking peripheral vision

imagesCVTY3IHVThe potential impact of the outcome of the EU referendum on charities appears to have passed the Charity Commission by. The Commission did deliberate over the position that Charities could take when it came to campaigning ahead of the referendum and produced guidance that initially suggested that any public involvement in the debate “will amount to political activity” which is not something charities can do unless they register as de-facto political bodies. However in March following challenges they revised their advice and argued that involvement will be considered political activity only “if the engagement can reasonably be seen as influencing the outcome”. This would clearly take some doing and in any case charities likely to spend £10,000 or more on such activity would need to register as political bodies. Perhaps because the Commission was so focused on the campaigning issue, hardly a surprise given that the Governments lobbying bill makes such a mountain out of what is a molehill, that it overlooked what might happen if the election returned a Brexit outcome. In that respect the Commission was caught napping in the same way as the rest of Government, however there were exceptions. Just as the Treasury prepared for either eventuality, so too the Financial Reporting Council which is part funded by what was BIS was warning Companies back in February to include the outcome of the referendum in the risk statements that accompanied their annual reports. Meanwhile the Charity Commission has merely published a single sentence in its own annual report suggesting that the outcome of the referendum will have no impact on the Commission itself. The reality is that for many charities which currently benefit from the various EU funding streams, that their future business plans will need to take this into account. In addition some charities will be impacted by the way in which the stock market reacts and others by the impact on spending by the public. This lack of understanding was identified by Hove resident, and charity wise-person Don Bawtree who published this article in Third Sector magazine. Let us hope before too long the Commission wakes up from its own slumber and provides some insight as we move forward towards our departure from the EU!




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.
This entry was posted in Charities, EU Referendum, Parliament and Democracy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s