NHS charities worth £330m are at risk of being nationalised under new Government accounting rules being introduced in April 2010, meaning charitable donations will count as gifts to the state.
The Department of Health has interpreted new Treasury guidelines to the effect that NHS bodies must abide by new International Accounting Standard 27 (IAS 27), which may require the funds of independent NHS charities to be consolidated into the accounts of their ‘parent’ public NHS bodies.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet Office Minister, Jenny Willott said:
“This move could lead to hundreds of millions of pounds of charitable donations being effectively nationalised under the NHS.
“The Government has no right to get its hands on any charitable NHS funds. People make donations on the understanding that it is up to charities to decide how to spend it, not ministers.
“The Government could potentially use this as a smokescreen to cover up cuts in future health spending, by replacing public funds with charitable donations.
“The Charity Commission has been voicing its concerns for over a year, but the Government is simply not listening. As we’re getting close to the deadline, the Treasury and Cabinet Office need to sit down and settle this once and for all. These accounting rules are designed for the private sector. They should not apply to charities and the public sector.”