Public Benefit Issue Soon to be Resolved

25 Jul 2011 Denise Copeland    Last updated: 13 Aug 2014

There is still no date for the establishment of the Register of Charities as the issue with the public benefit test has still not been resolved.

NICVA wrote to the Minister for Social Development in early March to outline concerns over the Executive’s intention to use accelerated passage to restore the presumption of public benefit for certain categories of charity.

The Minister responded, saying that he shared our concerns on this matter and, that he was of the view “that such an amendment is contrary to the intention and content of the current legislation” that is, that no charity should be presumed to be for the public benefit.

The Executive’s intended course of action was not implemented before the Assembly dissolved in March, as there was insufficient clarity to introduce a Bill to the Assembly.   

Since the last elections, Nelson McCausland MLA, has been appointed as the new Minister for Social Development.  It is anticipated that he will present his preferred course of action, over the public benefit test issue, at the next Social Development Committee meeting in September.

by Denise Copeland

Governance and Charity Advice Manager

[email protected]