The inside track: October 2020

Our latest update on what’s going on in Westminster that might impact charities, including the publication of Danny Kruger’s Levelling Up Communities report, mentions of charity campaigns in parliament, and announcements of economic support.

Parliament

Kruger report

Danny Kruger MP has published the report commissioned by the prime minister into how civil society can support the recovery from covid-19. We took a closer look at some of the detailed proposals last month and other infrastructure bodies are looking at how we can support key recommendations.

Debate on support for DCMS sectors

This month parliament debated the support that has been provided for DCMS sectors. While most of the debate was focused on the particular challenges of arts and culture organisations, there was a recognition that charities are still facing challenging circumstances, including by DCMS committee chair Julian Knight.

In the frontbench responses, the SNP’s treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss mentioned the Gift Aid Emergency Relief campaign, and shadow DCMS secretary Jo Stevens talked about the redundancies facing the voluntary sector and the Never More Needed campaign.

Economic updates

For the second time in a month, Rishi Sunak has appeared in the Commons to deliver an economic update. He has this week announced that the Job Support Scheme will be more generous to employers than previously announced, with the employer contribution to the wages of staff on the scheme from 33% to 5%. He also announced additional support for hospitality and leisure businesses in areas subject to Tier 2 coronavirus restrictions.

The Treasury has also announced this week that the Spending Review will not be a full three-year review, but will instead cover the next year. It will take place in late November, but the exact date has not yet been announced.

Questions about funding for charities

Shadow charities minister Rachael Maskell asked a written question about how much of the government’s £750m support package for charities has been allocated and distributed. We should get a further update on Thursday as Conservative MP Sara Britcliffe has an oral DCMS question on this matter.

People news

Shadow international development secretary Dan Carden has resigned from the Labour frontbench to vote against the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct bill), alongside shadow schools minister Margaret Greenwood and a number of PPSs, following several recent resignations by frontbenchers considered to be on the left of the party. A number of Socialist Campaign Group MPs chose to stay in post, but the resignations have again raised the issue of how MPs on the left will choose to approach Keir Starmer’s desire to avoid opposing the government on issues such as security.

Coronavirus resignation

Bolton West MP Chris Green has resigned as a parliamentary private secretary over increased local coronavirus restrictions. The resignation comes at a time when there are a growing number of Conservative MPs who are concerned at the extent of restrictions.

 

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Chris Walker Chris is NCVO’s public affairs manager, focusing on parliamentary work. He started his career working for several MPs in Parliament, and has also worked in public affairs and policy roles for the Federation of Small Businesses.

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