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New Clause 1 - Annual report

Part of Small Charitable Donations Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:45 pm on 30th October 2012.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Co-operative Party 3:45 pm, 30th October 2012

It is good to see Government Members waking up. I draw the attention of the hon. Member for Stafford to the evidence that we heard from Cath Lee, the chief executive of the Small Charities Coalition. As for the type of charities that are not likely to benefit from the scheme, she said at column 17 of her evidence on 16 October that the

“first is start-up charities, because it will be a huge challenge for them to develop and keep going to the stage when they can meet the three-year eligibility criterion. The second group is those charities that do not already use the gift aid system and whose main sources of income are not easily gift aidable or are not gift  aidable at all… The third group is those charities that just lack the capacity to engage with the gift aid system as it is.”––[Official Report, Small Charitable Donations Public Bill Committee, 16 October 2012; c. 17, Q31.]

That is perhaps because of the pressure on the managers and trustees of the scheme.

I gently suggest to the hon. Gentleman that the theory may be that in the great scheme of things every charity could benefit, if they all had the same level of capacity as Eton, but Ministers should be dealing with the real world outside the House and demonstrate that they are more in touch with the situation that charities face. They should recognise the reality that four out of five charities are not likely to benefit under the Bill as it stands.