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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

MPs want charities to be more transparent

This news post is almost 7 years old

​Chief executive pay, the Lobbying Act and private schools covered in survey of MPs

A majority of MPs think charities should be made more transparent.

According to data from a report published by think tank nfpSynergy, 66% of MPs in the major parties believe that making third sector groups more transparent is a high priority for the sector, and 21% believed it was the top priority.

The report, which surveyed 125 MPs from the two major parties, found that on some issues, Labour and Conservative MPs have “very similar” priorities for the charity sector.

Alongside transparency, 53% of MPs identified “finding more funding sources” for charities as the top priority, while 17% said it should be a high priority.

Chief executive pay also came under the spotlight, with 8% of MPs saying “preventing chief executive pay of over £200,000” was the top priority, while around 44 per cent said it should be high priority.

MPs split mostly along party lines on thorny issues of lobbying and the charitable status of private schools, something which has recently received renewed focus in Scotland,

Among Labour MPs, 58% said that preventing private schools from being charities was a high priority, compared with just 6% per cent of Tory MPs.

In terms of blanket banning charities from lobbying government, 32% of Conservative MPs said this should be a high priority, compared to 9% of Labour members.

Over 50% of Tory MPs said they considered preventing charities who receive government funding from lobbying the government a high priority, compared to 17% of Labour MPs.

Meanwhile, 38% of Labour MPs said repealing the Lobbying Act should be a high priority for the sector, compared to just 5% of Conservatives.

As a result, nfpSynergy said charities shouldn’t get their hopes up about the Lobbying Act being repealed “any time soon”

Co-founder Joe Saxton said: “The Lobbying Act is not going to be repealed any time soon. Not only is the parliamentary timetable stuffed with Brexit related material, but there is almost no support for it among Conservative MPs”.