Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: Charities

Treasury written question – answered on 1st December 2020.

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Photo of Martyn Day Martyn Day Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Public Health and Primary Care)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the economy of charity sector organisations having to stop delivering vital services in order to be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary, Minister for Equalities

The purpose of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is to support people who would otherwise have been made redundant. To prevent fraudulent claims, we made clear that individuals cannot work or volunteer for their organisation. This is to protect individuals too – if we allowed workers to volunteer for their employer, the employer could ask them to effectively work full time while only paying them 80% of the wages.

On 8 April the Chancellor announced a £750m support package for charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis. This includes £360 million direct from Government departments. Up to £200 million is supporting hospices, with the rest supporting organisations like St John Ambulance and the Citizens Advice Bureau as well as charities supporting children, victims of domestic abuse or disabled people. £200 million is being distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund through the Coronavirus Community Support Fund. The Fund closed to new applications on 17 August and £184m - 97% of the total fund value – had been awarded as of 13 October.

The Government also matched public donations to the BBC’s “Big Night In” charity appeal, with over £37 million being distributed by Comic Relief, Children In Need and the National Emergencies Trust to charities on the frontline. 100% of the Fund value of £34.4m was awarded as of 15 October.

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