SCOTS CHARITIES FEAR MULTI-MILLION UK GOVERNMENT CASH GRAB
Patricia Gibson MP has warned UK Ministers that they must return money raised for charitable causes and protect future schemes. Nearly £1,000 million of Libor cash was promised to support veterans’ charities and air ambulance groups. However, figures from the National Audit Office reveal an estimated £326 million in bank fines from the Libor scandal promised for military charities have instead been snatched by ministers to top up their own military spending shortfall.
Scots charities fear hundreds of millions of pounds earmarked for charitable causes will be grabbed by the UK government for its own “slush fund,” with new dormant asset funds, which could be worth several hundred million to cash-strapped groups in Scotland.
Patricia has joined the third sector in demanding that both the Libor and dormant asset funds to be protected, and the millions grabbed by Ministers returned.
John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations said:
“Not only was money – ostensibly for charitable purposes – used as a slush fund to top up departmental spending, but we learn from investigations that decisions were made behind closed doors and no checks have been carried out to assess whether the money was used for the purposes intended.”
Mrs Gibson added:
“The Libor fund was supposedly earmarked to support armed forces charities, but it’s now clear that the UK government has raided the fund to plug the huge shortfalls in the MoD budget
“The obvious flaws with the management of the Libor fund must be learned from and a more strategic and effective approach taken to the management of future funds, such as the dormant asset funds. These must reach charities and not top up government spending.
“This Treasury cash-grab is disgraceful and cannot be repeated. The lack of transparency over how these funds are allocated is unacceptable. Third sector organisations are right to raise concerns about UK Government’s plans for dormant asset funds.”
“Treasury approved grants include improving army barracks, installing sports facilities on military bases, funding rehab centres, buying air ambulances and even maintaining cadet troops.
“No figures are available on how much has been awarded to actual charities, and Treasury officials couldn’t confirm if all grants issued were spent as intended.”