23 Jun 2009

East End MP John Mason has criticised proposals in the Calman report to unify charity regulations across Scotland and the rest of the UK, proposals which have also been heavily criticised by the volntary and charity sector. Unfortunately, Labour representatives have given their backing to the Calman report despite this damaging recommendation to return powers to the hands of Westminster.

Commenting on the Calman proposals, Glasgow East MP, John Mason, said:

“It is extremely worrying that Calman has proposed changing Scottish charity legislation and regulation. I don’t believe that returning charity oversight powers to Westminster is a good move, and it is unlikely to benefit charity and voluntary organisations in the East End of Glasgow. It is essential that, given the separate legal system, charities in Scotland are regulated in Scotland.

“This recommendation exposes key flaws in the Calman report. In the evidence given to the Calman Commission there were several calls for lottery funding, a vital part of the charitable sector, to be devolved to Scotland. Unfortunately, these pleas were among those that the Commission has completely ignored.

“If there had been a recommendation for power over the grant-awarding lottery organisations to be returned to Scotland, that would have been a better move. In the long run that would undoubedly benefit charities and voluntary organisations in Glasgow East, and across the city. Perhaps it would even have helped to reduce the ‘lottery funding squeeze’ – where funds made avaiilable to Scots charities are reduced because of sums allocated to pay for the London Olympics in 2012?”