“This decision is a major blow to many small charities who had been promised the money and made plans based on those promises.
“What is so appalling is the manner in which this has been done, with no warning or consultation. How does the Government expect to convince other public bodies to abide by the Compact when they treat charities in this way?
“The charity sector warned the Government that the Hardship Fund was too small when it was first set up. But to increase funding for one set of charities, by such a small amount, at the expense of so many other charities is shameful.
“The Government should reinstate these funds immediately.”