Public Administration Select Committee: Press Notice

1 July 2008


The Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) this week continues its short examination of the impact of the “public benefit” test on charities. All charities now have to demonstrate their public benefit to retain charitable status and the financial benefits that go with it.  The Charity Commission is currently consulting on what that means in practice for particular types of charity, with particularly tough questions to be resolved on charities that charge fees - such as private schools and hospitals.

The Committee will meet tomorrow, Wednesday 2 July, at 3:30pm to discuss the impact of the public benefit test on private schools. The session takes place in the Thatcher Room, Portcullis House. Witnesses will be:

• Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, Chairman, Independent Schools Council

• Dr Anthony Seldon, Master, Wellington College

• Sir Simon Jenkins, author and columnist

PASC will look at how private schools justify the public subsidies they receive as charities. The Charity Commission’s suggestions include an expanded use of bursaries, and partnerships between independent and state schools - such as sponsorship of city academies.

The Committee will then next week discuss the impact on other fee-charging charities, which range from care homes to arts charities. That evidence session will take place on Tuesday 8 July at 4.00 pm in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House. Witnesses will be:

• David Mobbs, Chief Executive, Nuffield Hospitals

• Ruth Jarratt, Director of Policy Development, Royal Opera House

• Stephen Lloyd, Senior Partner, Bates Wells & Braithwaite

The Committee’s inquiry will conclude in the autumn with evidence from the Charity Commission. For more information about the work of the Committee, visit our website at:  


Committee Membership: 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)

Media Enquiries Jessica Bridges-Palmer, 020 7219 0724,

Specific Committee Information: Email: Tel: 020 7219 3284

Committee Website:

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: 

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474).  Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found