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Protection of Charities Bill (Draft)

Volume 586: debated on Wednesday 22 October 2014

I wish to inform the House of the publication in draft of the Protection of Charities Bill, for pre-legislative scrutiny.

Charities are at the heart of our civil society, performing many vital functions for the benefit of others, often the most needy or vulnerable. The proposed changes in the draft Protection of Charities Bill will support the overwhelming majority of charities and the hundreds of thousands of people who volunteer as charity trustees, by protecting public trust and confidence in charities and their effective regulation by the Charity Commission. While the vast majority of charities are doing vital and often inspirational work, there is a very small minority who seek to abuse charity. It is important that the regulator has the right tools to ensure effective regulation.

The draft Bill contains provisions that would extend the powers of the Charity Commission to effectively regulate the charity sector. It follows a public consultation on a range of measures, proposed by the Charity Commission itself, the majority of which have been taken forward in the draft Bill. Consultation feedback has helped refine the proposals and a summary of consultation feedback has been published alongside the draft Bill.

We are publishing the Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny in order to ensure that Parliament can review the scope and extent of the Charity Commission’s regulatory powers before we seek to legislate. The Government look forward to the conclusions and recommendations arising from pre-legislative scrutiny.