Rachael Maskell MP, Shadow Minister for the Voluntary Sector and Communities
Rachael Maskell MP, Shadow Minister for the Voluntary Sector and Communities

The Government’s charitable response has largely been spoken for. £200m has been pledged to hospices and £360m direct to other Government departments to address the health and economic consequences of Covid. Each department has pride itself in re-announcing this money, as if new, to address essentials like food poverty, domestic abuse services and safeguarding vulnerable children.

The remaining £370m has been divided between all the other charities providing emergency pandemic-related support; £200m for small charities in England, £60m for devolved authorities to distribute and the rest held back for that rainy day, despite the storm brewing over the sector.

This Coronavirus Community Support Fund (£200m) will be distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF); this is what they do. However it appears not all. PWC been given £1.4m to snoop around organisations before the NLCF are allowed to distribute any money. Some allege that social media accounts of leading charity personnel are even being scrutinised.

However, charities are already highly regulated through the Charity Commission to protect the public from unscrupulous practices in charities. The sector need answers why the Government holds such little trust in charities, their leaders, its Commission and its lead funder by requiring PWC to spy on their work. But more, it is now time that Government come up with the money the sector desperately needs now.

With less than half of the £200m allocated in total, to charities already over £4.3bn adrift of their budgets, we need to know why it has taken us so long to even get to this point.

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