Charities running charitable activities in community buildings

Part of Small Charitable Donations and Childcare Payments Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 18th October 2016.

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Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 10:15 am, 18th October 2016

The issue is really about the balance that we are trying to achieve. It is about trying to ensure that we keep a light touch in terms of what we ask of people claiming under the scheme. We feel that a reasonable balance is struck by the requirement that charities must carry on their charitable activities six times a year and, as the hon. Lady said, to be attended by at least 10 people. Most charities that are regularly active in most communities should be able to meet the requirements. It is not so generous that it is easy to contrive to meet it, and this is the issue. There will be other opportunities, in our debate on the Bill, to talk about striking that balance, but it is important to remember that protecting our precious charities means ensuring that we do not allow the rules to be so easily circumvented that abuse is widespread and that charities and the sector attract criticism for it.

We feel that this is a reasonable balance to strike. It is a light-touch requirement, but it is important to ensure that people do not contrive to work around it.