What might today's Queen's Speech mean for fundraising and the wider charity sector?
The Queen’s 64th speech at a State Opening of Parliament felt a little more sparse than usual, with the government’s approach to leaving the European Union taking centre place – eight of the 27 bills proposed relate to Brexit and its implications for key industries.
That said, aside from Brexit (which will inevitably impact both organisations and employees across the sector), there were a number of policies and pieces of proposed legislation that will be of interest to both fundraisers and the wider sector.
Data Protection Bill and Digital Charter
First things first, ten points go to Mike Smith (our Head of External Affairs) for identifying a key policy priority for the next Government in his blog last week. This wasn’t a huge surprise considering that the Conservative Manifesto included a dedicated section on the digital economy, but worth acknowledging given that a number of other manifesto commitments were omitted from the speech.
A Data Protection Bill is to be introduced to ensure that the UK has a data protection regime ‘fit for the 21st century’ by, among other things, establishing ‘a new data protection regime for non-law enforcement data processing’ and cementing the ‘UK’s position at the forefront of technological innovation, international data sharing and protection of personal data.' It is likely that, in the main, this Bill will bring the requirements of the upcoming GDPR into domestic law. There was also mention of a Digital Charter that will create a new framework to balance ‘users’ and businesses’ freedom and security online’.
This is bound to be an important issue for fundraisers over the next parliament, and so it’s great to see a commitment in the background briefing notes to working with charities (as well as technology companies, communities and international partners) to develop the Charter. Playing a proactive and constructive role in this to make sure fundraisers are represented and understood as part of this conversation will be a key priority for the Institute as this agenda progresses.
What else you might be interested in?
There were also other proposals that will be key for the sector in making their voices heard, including:
- A consultation on social care reform- will address the challenges of social care for our ageing population, bringing forward proposals for consultation to build widespread support
- Legislation to tackle the gender pay gap and discrimination
- Domestic violence and abuse bill - will include a new statutory definition of domestic violence and abuse and will prevent domestic violence victims being directly cross-examined by their perpetrators in the family courts
- Tenant’s bill – will ban charging tenants ‘letting fees’ to improve transparency, affordability and competition in the private rental market
- Mental Health Act - will begin to consider what further reform of mental health legislation is necessary, including changes in how the Act is implemented on the ground
Stephanie Siddall, Policy Manager, Institute of Fundraising