The charity sector still waits with bated breath……….

Published by Susan Robinson on 29 October 2018

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The Chancellor spoke for over an hour but it is difficult to see any direct help for the charity sector. There are a few points in the detail that are welcome but will result more in administrative savings rather than great impact.

  • increase 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
  • allow charity shops using the Retail Gift Aid Scheme to send letters to donors every three years when their goods raise less than £20 a year, rather than every tax year
  • increase the individual donation limit under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to £30, which applies to small collections where it is impractical to obtain a Gift Aid declaration

The headline grabbers were mental health and social care funding.

Mental Health

The budget has included an extra £2 billion a year of real-term funding by 2023/24 for mental health support. There is a great need in this area but there are no details of when and how this will be distributed. Any additional funding is welcomed but the increase in mental health problems stems in part from a bigger problem in today’s society. Will these measures that are being introduced help to heal a troubled generation?

Social Care

We have to wait with baited breath for the green paper on how to solve the social care crisis. Again, additional funding will help but will these grants to local authorities be used in the right areas?

With the increase in national minimum wage will local authorities increase the price they are prepared to pay for care or will charities be expected to pick up the shortfall? They are already struggling to do this.

Will any of this funding funnel down to the charity sector who work at the coal face, dealing with day to day issues? Watch this space.

Air Ambulance Trusts and Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust will each receive £10 million; well deserving charities but so are many more.

Reflection

We will have to wait and see how much impact this budget has on the charity sector. Any money spent well or dealing with mental health and social care will help the sector in the long run but it won’t help if it is not allocated correctly. Maybe the Government should produce an impact report on its use of public money?

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