300 MPs and Lords write to Chancellor to support VCS

300 MPs and Lords write to Chancellor to support VCS

Hundreds of MPs and Lords from nine different political parties have signed a letter demanding support for charities facing an "absolutely disastrous" situation of being forced to close as a reult of Covid 19, despite filling in many gaps for the most at risk.

The letter, which is addressed to Rishi Sunak (lst page jpeg) and has over 240 signatures from British politicians, asks the chancellor to take "urgent action" to support charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Labour's Stephen Doughty, the MP behind the letter said "a lot of people are being very generous" through this "unprecedented situation" but said "it's a question of billions of pounds suddenly not appearing". He added despite many people still giving to charity, many organisations rely entirely on events, such as the now-cancelled London Marathon, and payments will be due, but no money will come in.

The letter says "without an immediate injection of money, many charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises of all sizes will soon close. Funds are running out".

The letter demands:

  • "Immediate emergency funding" for frontline charities helping in the battle against Covid-19.
  • A "stabilisation fund" to be provided to all charities to help them stay afloat during the pandemic
  • Confirmation that all charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises are eligible for government action that pays up to 80% of salaries for retained workers
  • Confirmation that charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises eligible for the business interruption loan scheme provided to businesses
  • Confirmation that the relaxation of business rates applies to premises that are not charity retail shops
  • The government to work with philanthropic organisations, such as the National Lottery, to identify grants that can be provided "early" to fill the "growing gaps" in the sector

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NVCO), predicts charities will miss out on a minimum of £4.3bn of income in the next 12 weeks.

It says "every day counts" in the battle to win support from the government and claims charities are "facing imminent collapse" if additional funding isn't provided. Karl Wilding, chief executive of the NCVO said: "Every day counts here. I’m hearing from charities whose income has disappeared overnight but who still have to run services for their communities. Many of them have very little emergency cash to tide them over, and even those that do will run out in a matter of weeks...I know the government is working on this but for many charities around the country there is very little time to spare."

Rt Hon Stephen Doherty MP on twitter

As of 5pm today over 236 MPs and Peers from NINE parties have joined the call to @RishiSunak @dianabarran for an urgent Government package to support our #charities #voluntary orgs and #socialenterprises many on frontline tackling #Coronavirus and its impacts. #EveryDayCounts pic.twitter.com/f4bWrzmBwS

— Stephen Doughty MP / AS (@SDoughtyMP) March 25, 2020

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