CALLS for the speedy reform of the UKs charity laws have been issued by a specially formed coalition of charities and non-governmental organisations, which claim that the existing legislation is unclear and out of date. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) thinks the award of charitable status should depend on evidence of public benefit; the current law, which dates back to 1601, says that there is no required assessment to determine worth.
According to new research commissioned by the NCVO, a third of respondents did not know if the charity sector was subject to any form of regulation. NCVO chief executive Stuart Etherington called for a new charity bill to be included in the next Queens speech.
Were not trying to remove charitable status from any one particular type of organisation, he continued. The Charities Bill Coalition believes it is essential that the legal definition of charity is simplified to make it much clearer on what basis legal charitable status is awarded. Well work to ensure that, having come this far, charity law reform makes it from the shelf onto the statute books.