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That this House notes with serious concern proposals by the Government, published on 6 February 2016 on www.gov.uk, for a new clause to be inserted into all government grant agreements, determination letters, from the new financial year, and no later than 1 May 2016, which states that payments supporting activity intended to influence or attempt to influence Parliament, government or political parties, or attempting to influence the awarding or renewal of contracts and grants, or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action will not be counted as Eligible Expenditure costs; further notes that the Government itself describes this as an anti-lobbying clause; shares the concerns expressed by many third sector and voluntary organisations outlined in a letter to the Prime Minister dated 11 February 2016, among them the impact the clause may have on the ability of voluntary organisations to bring real-world experience of service users and evidence-based expertise into the public policy debate, and that those organisations working on programmes receiving any grant funding may be prohibited from speaking to hon. Members about developments in their local area, suggesting improvements to policy or legislation, responding to the Government's own consultations, meeting ministers to discuss broader issues and evidence from their programme or even from giving evidence if called by a select committee, and that the clause may therefore have a far broader impact than originally intended; believes the proposals leave the Government vulnerable to accusations of stifling criticism and informed debate about the consequences of its policies; and calls on the Government to urgently reconsider the introduction of this clause.
Total number of signatures: 44
Showing 44 out of 44