MPs call for more charity funding to respond to coronavirus

Parliament building
Friday, 1 May, 2020

Charities have welcomed the government's announcement of £750 million of extra funding, but continue to stress it's nowhere near enough.

The issue was raised in the House of Commons this week when MPs put questions to Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary. Jo Stevens, the Labour MP for Cardiff Central, told Dowden that the government’s rescue package was “nowhere near enough”, representing just 20 per cent of the sector’s usual income during a 12-week period.

Bim Afolami, the Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, commented that some small charities are saying that “the next few weeks and months are looking very difficult”. The government has yet to announce how small charities can apply for the funding, but says it will do so shortly.

Meanwhile, another pot of funding has opened and been so overwhelmed it has had to close to applications within a few days. The Charities Aid Foundation received more than 5,000 applications for grants totalling more than £40m for a £5m fund in just one week. The fund provides grants of up to £10,000 to small charities, non-profits and social enterprises with annual incomes of less than £1m that are struggling amid the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Charities are continuing an online campaign using the hashtag #NeverMoreNeeded to make the case for funding.

 

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