Charities: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 12th November 2021.

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Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what criteria his Department used to screen potential recipients of covid-19 support funding for links to (a) activities not conducive to the public good and (b) activities censured by the Charities Commission.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison Conservative, South West Wiltshire

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has mechanisms to claw back covid-19 support funding from organisations with links to activities that are deemed not compatible with British values.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately The Exchequer Secretary

This Government has provided around £400 billion of direct support, to the economy during this financial year and last, which has helped to safeguard jobs, businesses and public services in the UK. Financial support during the pandemic included job and income support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, as well as business grants and loans.

The eligibility requirements for these schemes do not include a specific test around the activities of an organisation, nor do they prevent access by organisations that have been censured by the Charity Commission provided they meet the requirements of the schemes.

Across the schemes, the Government has consistently taken steps to protect public money against error, fraud and abuse. Where the recipients of payments or loans are found not to have been entitled to the money they have received, the Government has made provision for relevant powers and mechanisms to allow the money to be recovered and, where appropriate, penalties issued. These mechanisms have already been used to make recoveries and further compliance work across the schemes is ongoing.

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