Government approves €1m for charities to encourage donations

Move comes in wake of CRC scandal

Charities have reported a drop in donations since the scandal.

Charities have reported a drop in donations since the scandal.

Wed, Dec 18, 2013, 07:44

The Government has released €1 million of unspent funds from the Department of Social Protection to charity in time for Christmas.

A Government spokesman last night acknowledged the move was partly to encourage people to keep giving money to charity in the wake of the Central Remedial Clinic’s top-up payments scandal.

Charities have reported a drop in donations since the scandal, and the spokesman said the Coalition wanted to send a signal to people not to hesitate to give money, especially around Christmas.

It was also claimed it could help depoliticise the charity sector, after claims of close associations between Fianna Fáil and the CRC.

St Vincent de Paul

The money is mostly going to the Society of St Vincent de Paul, which will receive €770,000, as well as Protestant Aid, which will receive €130,000, with social care agency Crosscare getting €100,000.

It is understood the money will go directly to those in need rather than on overheads or other costs. The €1 million came from savings achieved through better-than-expected Live Register figures, with dole payments falling, and better financial management in Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton’s department.

Ms Burton had some discussions with the charities, and the money will go towards households in severe financial difficulties.

It is understood not to be the first time a government of the day has released funds to charities at Christmas.


‘Urgent need’

The charities concerned continue to “be in urgent need of continued support to provide relief to many households experiencing severe adverse problems”, a spokesperson said.

“The Minister has had some discussions with these charities and is cognisant of the ongoing demand for services that are being dealt with by the volunteers in each of these organisations.

“The organisations continue to be in urgent need of continued support to provide relief to many households experiencing severe adverse problems.

“The Minister considers that the provision, on a once-off basis, of this money to these organisations is timely and will allow them to more adequately support vulnerable households.”

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