NAVCA the umbrella body for the CVS has produced an analysis of the Autumn statement.
Charity Specific: The VCSE sector itself barely figured in the Autumn Statement. A few, very specific segments within the VCSE sector will benefit from measures announced, but these are very limited and include:
- An allocation of £1.7 million for the Holocaust commemoration and education fund, earmarked for educational projects in schools to mark the upcoming 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camps (to be designed/delivered by a charitable organisation).
- A commitment of £10 million to support veterans with mental health needs
- Up to £8 million to help with the cost of repairs and alterations to village halls, Miner’s welfare facilities and Armed Forces organisation’s facilities
- £10 million of capital funding for air ambulances in England
- Providing £15m to charities to distribute surplus food and help reduce annual food waste which currently stands at around 250 million meals per year.
A handful of measures designed to reduce administrative burdens on charities were also announced: These will come into force from April 2019.
- As highlighted above, increasing the upper limit for trading that charities can carry out without incurring a tax liability from £5,000 to £8,000 where turnover is under £20,000, and from £50,000 to £80,000 where turnover exceeds £200,000
- Charity shops using the Retail Gift Aid scheme will only need to send letters to donors every three years when their goods raise less than £20 a year, rather than every tax year. This change will help charities to save considerably on administration costs.
- Increasing the individual donation limit under the Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme to £30, in line with contactless payments. This increase is clearly welcome and will help VCSE organisations that trade to raise additional funds.
NAVCA Conclusions: This Budget shows a general lack of regard for the value of the small charities and voluntary organisations. It ignores that a healthy, sustainable and well supported VCSE sector is central to building strong communities, effective public services, a thriving national economy. NAVCA will continue to work hard, along with other key players in the sector, to put pressure on government to recognise the value of VCSE organisations and to support them accordingly.