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Cancer charity chief ‘optimistic’ on independence

The Maggie's Cancer Support centre in Aberdeen. The charity's head of fundraising says independence will present 'opportunities' for the sector. Picture: Hemedia

The Maggie's Cancer Support centre in Aberdeen. The charity's head of fundraising says independence will present 'opportunities' for the sector. Picture: Hemedia

  • by ANDREW WHITAKER
 

A SENIOR cancer charity fundraiser has said he is “very optimistic” for the future of the sector if Scotland votes for independence.

Gavin McLellan, head of fundraising for the Maggie’s Centres cancer support charity, dismissed suggestions that a ‘Yes’ vote in September’s independence referendum could be damaging.

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‘No’ campaigners have warned that the creation of an independent Scotland would lead to different tax regimes and regulations north and south of the Border for charities that operate across the UK.

However, Mr McLellan claimed a Yes vote would not disrupt the operations of charities that have major presences north and south of the Border.

He said: “Following a Yes vote, major trusts and foundations will have the opportunity to continue to support some of the very best work in the third sector across the British Isles.

“Current UK-wide trusts and foundations will not want to miss these opportunities in an independent Scotland.”

‘Yes’ and ‘No’ politicians react

SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing welcomed the intervention from Mr McLellan.

She said: “People in the third sector understand that independence is not an end in itself but a starting point to build a fairer and more compassionate Scotland.”

She added: “The SNP Scottish Government is committed to building a more equal Scotland.

“Scotland’s vibrant third-sector organisations will play a key role in helping deliver that.

“But we can’t allow Westminster to keep holding back progress on tackling poverty and inequality.

“Only a Yes vote will enable us to tackling these social ills and take a huge step towards delivering a fairer Scotland.”

However, Labour MSP Richard Baker, who is a former press and policy officer for Help the Aged, claimed the SNP had failed to answer key questions about whether charities that operate across the UK could face being broken up in an independent Scotland.

Mr Baker, a director of the anti-independence Better Together campaign, said: “At the very least this raises big questions about how charities would operate.

“Would charities have UK-wide operations or different operations in an independent Scotland. There are also implications for different regulations and fundraising.”

 

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