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Alliance endorses new charity law proposals

May 19, 2005 12:00 AM

Alliance endorses the proposed establishment of a Northern Ireland Charity Commission, as outlined in a Department for Social Development consultation on charity law in Northern Ireland.

In replying to the consultation, Eileen Bell MLA, Alliance Party Spokesperson for Social Development, said:

"Alliance has long argued the case for a Northern Ireland Charity Commission, the lack of which was an inadequate anomaly.

"The lack of a Commission has meant that the authorities have been unable to do anything about unscrupulous house-to-house plastic bag collections, where the collector implies that the collection is for a good cause or charity, but is in fact not. We especially endorse the proposal to make this a criminal offence.

"Furthermore, we are recommending that a definition of a charity includes those organisations whose purpose is to promote conflict resolution, reconciliation, the promotion of religious or racial harmony, peace, equality and diversity, as well as the purposes of the advancement of citizenship or promotion of good community relations. All of these are particularly apt to building a better society in Northern Ireland, which the Alliance Party itself is committed to.

"The establishment of a Northern Ireland Register of Charities and a Northern Ireland Charity Commission will clarify operations, correct bad practices, and promote the good work done by many here."

ENDS

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