Press Notice 41, Session 2006-07

10 July 2007


The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) continues on the theme of third sector issues in their second evidence session this week. There is a requirement that a charity's purpose must be "for the public benefit" for it to have charitable status, with the reputational benefits and tax exemptions that entails. The Charities Act 2006 removed the existing presumption that religious, or educational, or poverty alleviating organisations are for the public benefit. Is a private school a charity? A religious organisation? They now have to prove that they exist for the "public benefit", but how can that be defined?

The Charity Commission has been charged with tackling that very question, and the Committee will hear from Dame Suzi Leather and Andrew Hind, the Commission’s Chair and Chief Executive, on the progress they have made towards reaching a definition. They will be supported by two of the Commission’s Executive Directors, Rosie Chapman and Kenneth Dibble.

The recently completed consultation on public benefit received over 900 responses, and has provoked fierce debate. This session will be the first time the Charity Commission has discussed the consultation findings, and will also be the first time that it has appeared formally before the Public Administration Committee.

The evidence session will take place at 10.45am on Thursday 12 July in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House.


Committee Membership is as follows: Tony Wright (Chairman) (Lab) (Cannock Chase), Mr David Burrowes (Con) (Enfield, Southgate), Paul Flynn (Lab) (Newport West), David Heyes (Lab) (Ashton under Lyne), Kelvin Hopkins (Lab) (Luton North), Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger (Con) (Bridgewater), Julie Morgan (Lab) (Cardiff North), Mr Gordon Prentice (Lab) (Pendle), Paul Rowen (Lib Dem) (Rochdale), Charles Walker (Con) (Broxbourne), Jenny Willott (Lib Dem) (Cardiff Central)

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