£150k to set up Charities Register

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Treasury Minister Susie Pinel has signed a ministerial decision for the non-recurring transfer of £147,715 from central contingencies to the Community and Constitutional Affairs Department.

According to the decision, the money will pay for the ‘interim costs associated with the Charities Commissioner including the set-up of the Charities Register’.

In 2014 the States agreed to set up a register of charities and agreed that any organisation which seeks charitable status must be assessed by a newly created Charities Commissioner.

Any organisations that do not register with the commissioner or who fail to make it on to the register will not be able to be called charities and will not be eligible for the associated tax relief.

The costs of the Charities Commissioner for the first two years were to be met from contingency provisions – £307,000 for 2014 and £222,000 for 2015.

A report accompanying the decision says: ‘However, the management costs for 2016 and beyond were not included in the 2016-2019 Medium Term Financial Plan as it was envisaged that these would be met from income from dormant bank accounts.

‘The Dormant Bank Accounts (Jersey) Law 2017 enables balances from dormant bank accounts to be used for charitable and other related causes including the costs of the Charities Commissioner.’

Last June, Jersey appointed John Mills to the role of Charities Commissioner.

The report adds that ‘until the appropriate arrangements are in place to release funding, the costs of the Charities Commissioner will be met from central contingency as originally agreed by the Council of Ministers.

‘As the responsibility for Social Policy was transferred to the Department for CCA with effect from 1 January 2016 contingency funding of £66,379 has already been approved by ministerial decision dated 18 January 2018 to meet costs associated with the Charities Commissioner in 2017.

‘Additional funding of £147,715 in 2018 is now required for the interim costs associated with the Charities Commissioner including the set-up of the Charities Register.’

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