After nine years of planning the NPC was finally granted recognition by the Inland Revenue as a Scottish Charity on the 5th September 2002. To achieve charitable status, the NPC had to significantly revise its Constitution; these changes were successfully made at the AGM in St Andrews. James Groves who saw this as a priority of his two years as General Secretary told the delegates at the AGM that this is a significant development in our history.
Amongst other things the NPC will benefit from its charity status by being exempt from corporation or capital gains tax. It also means that people may donate to the NPC under the Gift Aid scheme in such a way that both they and the NPC can reclaim tax on the donation. This new status obliges the NPC to be open about its finances - any member of the public may ask to inspect NPC accounts in future. Most importantly, by being a charity the NPC is now legally committed to spending its funds exclusively on charitable issues as James Groves told us this means on matters that affect students as students. Students' unions and associations thinking of affiliating to the NPC now have a guarantee that their money would be not be spent on concerns which, were they to pursue them themselves, would be beyond their legal powers.
- James Groves