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Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill [HL]: Committee stage report

Published Wednesday, January 20, 2016

This briefing summarises changes made to the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill in Public Bill Committee The Committee removed an Opposition amendment made in the Lords dealing with disposal of assets by charities and agreed a new Government clause dealing with reserve powers to control fundraising. The Bill is due to have remaining stages in the Commons on 26 January 2016.

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The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill [HL] includes provisions intended to:

  • provide stronger protection for charities in England and Wales from individuals who are unfit to be charity trustees;
  • equip the Charity Commission with new or strengthened powers to tackle abuse of charity more effectively and efficiently;
  • give charities a new power to make social investments (investments that pursue both a financial and social return); and
  • deal with certain problems related to fundraising.

The Bill would amend other legislation and includes powers requested by the Charity Commission.

The Opposition has welcomed and supported the Bill, although it has put forward ways in which it considers the Bill could be improved.

The Public Bill Committee agreed, on division, to remove a clause inserted into the Bill by way of an Opposition amendment in the House of Lords.  The clause would have required the Charity Commission to ensure that independent charities could not be compelled to use or dispose of their assets in a way which would be inconsistent with their charitable purposes. 

In addition, the Public Bill Committee agreed a new Government clause dealing with reserve powers to control fundraising.

The Committee also considered several Opposition amendments and new clauses, none of which were pressed to a vote.

Further background and information about the Bill is provided in two Library briefing papers prepared for the Bill’s Second Reading in the House of Commons:

 

 

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7475

Author: Catherine Fairbairn

Topic: Charities

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