Government policy and funding round-up: April 2022

This round-up will help you to stay informed about our influencing work, and any government policy and funding announcements. For news related to what’s happening in parliament, see our regular inside track round-up.

Charity Commission chair

Orlando Fraser has been appointed as chair of the Charity Commission. This will be the second chair in a row who hasn’t received the explicit backing of parliament. The government must look again at this process and work to ensure that future chairs have this backing.

While we have concerns about the process, we’re pleased that Orlando Fraser has made strong commitments to the independence of the Charity Commission; regulatory involvement being based only on charity law, not on political pressure. We have a strong working relationship with the Charity Commission’s team and leadership, and look forward to working with the new chair.

Spring statement and rising costs

On 23 March the chancellor gave the spring statement, an update on progress against the year’s budget. Given the #CostofLivingCrisis and Russia’s war in Ukraine, the chancellor announced several new policies to ease pressure on household budgets. This twitter thread includes a summary of the policies.

While there are some welcome measures, broadly we think there’s a lack of support for people who aren’t in work. We also think charities will be experiencing increased demand as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, along with increasing delivery costs – whether that’s food or energy and fuel.

We’re interested in hearing from members on this issue. Email policy@ncvo.org.uk, if you’re concerned about the impact of rising costs on the people you work with and the support you offer.

Covid public inquiry

The government has closed their consultation on the terms of reference for the public inquiry into the pandemic response. We responded to this consultation asking the government to include a number of points in the terms of reference, including the engagement of and support for civil society and volunteers during the pandemic. This inquiry will inform the approach to future emergencies.

Access to banking services

Many of you have told us that lack of access to banking services makes it hard for your charity to deliver on your mission. Barriers range from banking charges to branch closures and difficulties opening and switching accounts.

We’re working with other infrastructure bodies, the Charity Commission and UK Finance to develop solutions for charities. We’ve developed a survey to better understand your experiences and represent you when speaking to decision makers.

Please help us by completing this survey by 6 May. If you have any questions, please contact policy@ncvo.org.uk.

You can also read our online guidance on banking and investment.

Charity Commission register

The Charity Commission currently collects information from charities about what they do, their approach and who they help. This classification data forms part of the register of charities. The Charity Commission has reviewed and changed its approach to classifying charities on the register, which you can read more about on the Charity Commission’s website. We’re supportive of efforts to improve this data but have concerns about the proposed system.

The Charity Commission will carry out user testing this month to ensure the codes are fit for purpose and charities are able to classify themselves. If you’re interested in being part of this, please contact userresearchteam@charitycommission.gov.uk. The codes will be reviewed as needed, based on the feedback from this testing.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Details of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund were published on 13 April. This was accompanied by explanations of possible interventions, outputs, and indicators, and further information about Multiply (the government’s adult numeracy programme).

Funding will be allocated to all areas, and local governments will be responsible for creating local plans with a broad range of stakeholders, including charities.

Local plans must be submitted between 30 June and 1 August, to be assessed and signed off by central government. Organisations should discuss plans for delivering the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with their local authorities.

Low Pay Commission

The Low Pay Commission has opened a consultation on the impact of recent and upcoming increases to the National Living Wage (NLW). NLW will increase to £10.32 in April 2023 and is forecasted to increase to £10.95 in April 2024.

To share your views on the impact of rising NLW on your organisation, please email policy@ncvo.org.uk. You can also read our online guidance on salaries and benefits if you need support in this area.

Domestic Advisory Group

NCVO has been announced as one of the members of the Domestic Advisory Group for the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, alongside a range of business groups, civil society organisations and trade union representatives. The purpose of the Domestic Advisory Group is to discuss how the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is working and resolve any issues.

We want to make sure that we reflect the broader concerns of civil society – this is where we need you. If you’d like us to raise any issue related to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, or discuss how it’s working, please contact policy@ncvo.org.uk.

This entry was posted in Charity, Funding, Policy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Like this? Read more

Rebecca Young is a senior policy officer at NCVO, working primarily on public services and volunteering policy. Before joining NCVO, Rebecca led on mental health, housing and disability policy at the National Union of Students.

Comments are closed.