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Coronavirus: Chancellor announces aid for charities

BusinessCoronavirus: Chancellor announces aid for charities

Rishi SunakImage copyright
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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a £750m package to keep struggling charities afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

The move follows concern that some charities are facing collapse, with income shrinking because of enforced shop closures.

Bigger charities such as Oxfam and Age UK have furloughed two-thirds of staff.

The measures involve cash grants direct to charities providing key services during the crisis.

As part of the scheme, £360m will be directly allocated by government departments to those charities.

Another £370m will go to small local charities, including those delivering food and essential medicines and providing financial advice.

Announcing the move, Mr Sunak said the government could not match every pound of spending that the UK’s 170,000 charities would have received this year.

However, he said the government wanted to help the charities that were “on the front line of fighting the coronavirus”.

“Shutting up shop at this moment would contravene their very purpose,” he added.

Mr Sunak also said the government would match all donations to the BBC’s Big Night In fundraising event on 23 April, pledging a minimum of £20m.

“We need the gentleness of charity in our lives,” he said.

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