Minister joins growing calls for charity rescue package

charities nThe Government’s Paymaster General has backed calls for the Treasury to launch an emergency support package for charities, amid claims that the sector could be rocked by a £4.3bn fall in income of over the next three months as Covid-19 wreaks havoc with thousands of organisations.

Conservative MP for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt, who took up the role on February 13, shared a video on her Twitter account in which she said she had been “lobbying the Treasury” for such a scheme.

Addressing charities in her constituency, Moudant added: “Without you, we aren’t going to get through this and there’s going to be things you’re going to need to do in the recovery. So we want to help you through this.

“I know many of you are making use of the schemes that have already been announced by the Treasury, but we need something bespoke for the additional things and the services that you need to provide now, so I’ve been lobbying the Treasury on that and hopefully we’ll have some news on that soon.”

Her intervention follows the launch of a campaign set up by four umbrella bodies, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Charity Finance Group, Acevo and the Institute of Fundraising under the hashtag #EveryDayCounts.

The organisations said the sector would miss out on a minimum of £4.3bn of income over the coming 12 weeks, with many also facing increased costs through the extra workload of tackling the pandemic. The cancellation of the London Marathon has exacerbated the potential problem.

The four bodies have asked the Government to provide emergency funding for front-line charities and volunteers who are supporting the response to the coronavirus crisis, especially where they are alleviating pressure on the NHS or providing support to people suffering from the economic and social impacts of Covid-19.

They have also asked the government to set up a “stabilisation fund” for all charities to help them stay afloat, pay staff and continue operating during the course of the pandemic, and to confirm that charities would be eligible for similar business interruption measures announced by the Chancellor in the past fortnight.

Over 300 MPs and peers have signed a letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, calling for immediate support for charities, according to Labour MP Stephen Doughty, who put the letter together.

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