Government ignores solutions to help smaller charities that are struggling to weather economic times.

In a debate in parliament today, MPs debated how the more than 90% of charities that are small and medium sized could access more donations and the £750 million worth of Gift Aid left unclaimed each year. John Robertson MP, who called for the debate, said the Gift Aid system needed modernising, so that charities could check donors on a central system and claim the money more easily. Chloe Smith, Minister for the Cabinet Office, replied with what she called a “political point”, saying that this unclaimed money is diverted to other public services instead.

Following the debate, John Robertson, the MP for Glasgow North West, said: “It is disgusting that so much money, which small charities need in order to survive, is totally dismissed. There are real and simple solutions that could be put in place, but this Tory-led government is uninterested in helping vulnerable people. It wanted charities to be the pillar of its ‘Big Society’ and yet is unwilling to look into any ways that could help them do this.”

The debate was called following reports suggesting charitable donations were down 20% last year and one in six charities are facing closure in 2013.


The text of the debate can be read here.

The debate can be watched here.


  1. While it is admirable that the Hon Gent is trying to help The HMRC is unlikely to spend money on giving money to create a central database when the money can be invested in other ways to gain more income in to reduce the national deficit. Boards of Trustees of Charities must be held to account for income levels as well as Charity Employees and one simple way to gain Gift Aid Opt in is for the charity to do a ‘phone campaign to it’s database. I have seen these work well for charities and The ROI on these campaigns vary between 9:1 return and 15:1 return
    I have also worked in a charity where a rather brutal HMRC audit pushed for better record keeping or they would want a significant amount of Gift Aid back. I suspect the Politicians are not the answer here but the HMRC officials and perhaps the targets that are being set?

    Kind Regards

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