CAF responds to the Queen’s Speech ​

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Responding to today’s Queen’s Speech, John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“By expanding the National Citizen Service and placing it on a statutory footing, government has put down a real marker of how important it considers social action to be for young people. Young volunteers make a huge contribution to society and it is shown that this also has positive impact on their lives as they prepare for further education and work. However, there is still much more to do in closing the generation gap, with older people still more involved in social action than the young. Charities will be keen to work with government to shine a light on the positive impact of voluntary work for young people.

“The inclusion of a Small Charitable Donations Bill could be good news for charities, particularly for smaller organisations which have often struggled to unlock the benefits of Gift Aid. This provides a real opportunity to simplify the scheme and make it fit for the 21st century.

“Other plans announced in today’s Queen’s speech will open many opportunities for charities to share their expertise and play a supportive role in providing services. As government looks to implement legislation like the sugar tax and the Justice Bill over the next year, it will do well to embrace the specialist knowledge of charities, including those working for causes  in education, health and prison reform.

“The fight against extremism is one that charities have an active involvement in. As the Extremism Bill makes its way through parliament, government will need to ensure that it consults with charities to ensure that any legislation aimed at combating terror does not inadvertently hinder their work, and that new responsibilities given to the Charity Commission are adequately funded.”

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