Government must reinstate funds for small charities - Willott

2009 Tachwedd 20 9:06 AM

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Charities, Jenny Willott has called for the Government to reinstate the £750,000 it has diverted from a fund for small charities. She will be tabling an Early Day Motion on the subject.

Commenting, Jenny Willott said:

"This decision is a major blow to many small charities who had been promised the money and made plans based on those promises.

"What is so appalling is the manner in which this has been done, with no warning or consultation. How does the Government expect to convince other public bodies to abide by the Compact when they treat charities in this way?

"The charity sector warned the Government that the Hardship Fund was too small when it was first set up. But to increase funding for one set of charities, by such a small amount, at the expense of so many other charities is shameful.

"The Government should reinstate these funds immediately."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. The full text of the Early Day Motion is below: Campaigning Research Programme That this house is deeply concerned with the decision by the Office for the Third Sector to divert £750,000 from the Campaigning Research Programme to top up the Hardship Fund; notes that the Campaigning Research Programme was for organisations with a turnover of less than £150,000 and the Hardship fund is for those over £200,000; is alarmed that this decision has been made despite the fact that grants to 32 small charities from the programme's funds had already been approved, and that it was done without any effort to consult those charities affected or the sector more broadly; is concerned that this runs counter to the terms of the Compact for charities and sets a poor example to other public bodies; and calls on the government to reinstate the funding for the programme without delay.

2. There is also a Twitter campaign to have the money reinstated which the Liberal Democrats are supporting. The hashtag is #otscampaign.

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