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.