Stone: Govt must support Charities!


Far North MP, Jamie Stone, has today signed a cross-party letter led by Stephen Doughty MP asking for the Government to step in and support charities amongst the Coronavirus outbreak. 

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has predicted that charities will miss out on a minimum of £4.3bn of income over the coming 12 weeks. Without this vital money, many charities of all sizes will be forced to close.

The cross-party letter calls for 

  • Emergency funding for charity work alleviating pressure from the NHS 

  • Confirmation that charity workers will be eligible for the 80% of wage fund

  • Confirmation that charities are eligible for similar business interruption measures 


Speaking on the letter, Mr Stone said:

“Charities provide essential support in the Far North. These organisations shouldn’t have to close their doors and consider redundancies as a result of the pandemic. Any Government support for businesses should be extended to charities too."

Dear Chancellor of the Exchequer,

Coronavirus – Support for Charities

We are writing to you to ask for action to be taken on supporting the charity sector, given the unprecedented situation, and its ability to play a crucial role in the national response to Coronavirus.

Charities offer crucial support to many parts of our society every day, and in the coming months will be vital in tackling the spread and impact of COVID-19. Many charities can help alleviate the pressure on our NHS and social care services and provide support to people suffering from the economic and social impact of the pandemic, as well as helping with everything from mental health impacts to support for vulnerable families.

But without an immediate injection of money, many charities of all sizes will soon close.

Charity funds are running out, and some are already considering redundancies. The NCVO predicts that charities will miss out on a minimum of £4.3bn of income over the coming 12 weeks. The figure could be far higher.

Your announcement today of further financial support for employers, businesses, and people is welcome. But charities require clarification of where they are eligible for such support.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), and the Charity Finance Group have issued their own urgent calls, and we endorse these and call on you to take the following urgent actions, working directly with the Devolved Administrations, to protect the charity sector:

· Provide immediate emergency funding for frontline charities and volunteers supporting the response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis, especially where they are alleviating pressure on the health service or providing support to people suffering from the economic and social impact of COVID-19

· Provide a ‘stabilisation fund’ for all charities to help them stay afloat and continue operating during the course of the pandemic. Confirmation that charities as employers are eligible for the Government grants to cover 80% of the salary of retained workers.

· Establish an emergency grant fund – NCVO have recommended that the mechanism most effective for this would be the National Emergencies Trust (NET) – which has established links with Community Foundations.

· Confirm that charities are eligible for similar business interruption measures announced for business. Particularly can you urgently confirm where the following measures are available to charities: the £330bn loan guarantees; the criteria for charities being eligible for the business interruption loan scheme; additional business rates measures including charity premises that are not retail charity shops?

· Urgently clarify the situation for the differing governance models of charities – including CICs?

· Work with the UK’s largest philanthropic organisations and foundations, the National Lottery and others to identify grant funding which can be drawn down early over the coming days, or in addition from their reserves and existing grant programmes to help fill the growing gaps in the sector.

We look forward to hearing your response.

Signed,

Stephen Doughty MP


Share this post on social media:

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Email.