The big news this week is the delivery of the Spring Budget tomorrow (Wednesday 3 March). Fingers crossed we see the announcement of support for the sector.
By now, hopefully you all know about the #RightNow campaign, which has attracted even more support in the past week, and is urging the government to create and Emergency Support Fund for charities.
Gift Aid Emergency Relief campaign
A coalition of charities have also been leading the Gift Aid Emergency Relief campaign, which is calling for Gift Aid to be raised from 20% to 25% for two years and for an extension of the Small Donation scheme to more charities, which will make it easier for them to claim Gift Aid. This change could result in an additional £450 million to help the sector recover from this crisis.
Charity shop grants
The Charity Retail Association and Charity Tax Group are also calling on the chancellor to use the budget to resolve the uncertainty around charity shop grants. They have said the government is following old EU state aid rules on capping emergency grants to charity retailers even after the EU amended these rules to become more generous, and so charities are losing out on millions of pounds
‘Levelling up’ agenda
Also, tomorrow we should hear more on the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. The Community Wealth Fund Alliance have been campaigning for the creation of a Community Wealth Fund from the next wave of dormant assets to be included as part of the ‘levelling up’ initiatives.
Keep your eyes peeled for a joint announcement on the budget from #NeverMoreNeeded tomorrow and an analysis blog the following day from Jay Kennedy, DSC’s Director of Research and Policy.
Other updates include:
- Last week saw Baroness Stowell’s last day of the Chair of the Charity Commission and Ian Karet appointed as Interim Chair until August whilst the appointment process for a permanent Chair is conducted.
- More than 13,0000 charities failed to submit their financial update on time, which is more than double the number which missed last year. Kirsty Weakley, a Civil Society editor, commented this ‘suggested to me that finance teams, and charities mean it when they say they are very busy and struggling to get stuff done’.
- Following last week’s meeting of 25 heritage bodies and charities a working group has been set up to create guidelines for how heritage bodies talk about history. This is part of the ongoing row, which the National Trust found itself in the centre of after publishing a report into the charities links with slavery. This sparked criticism from several ministers who think that organisations are attempting to ‘rewrite Britain’s past’.
How do companies support the community?
And please take the time to read a very interesting blog from one of our researchers Jess Threfall – How do companies support the community? and an article from our CEO Debra Allcock Taylor – The crucial, challenging work of criminal justice charities. Both have pretty self-explanatory titles!