CFDG welcome Chancellors voluntary sector initiatives

17th March 2004

The Charity Finance Directors' Group (CFDG) has today welcomed the voluntary sector initiatives announced by the Chancellor in the Budget.

Melvin Coleman, CFDG trustee and UK Finance Director of Amnesty International said, "We very much welcome the proposed cash incentive for small and medium sized firms to introduce payroll giving, and the establishment of a Commission on a National Youth Volunteering Strategy.

We are also very pleased that the Government have decided to continue to consult heritage and conservation charities on the proposed changes to the Gift Aid Day Admissions scheme that were announced in the pre-budget report. The potential cost of the changes is millions of pounds, and will particularly hit small independent museums."

However, CFDG expressed some disappointment that no concessions in relation to the continuing issue of irrecoverable VAT were declared, particularly as it was announced that churches and other places of worship will now be able to recover VAT on all repairs.

Shirley Scott, Chief Executive of CFDG said, "Local authorities, the BBC and now places of worship receive grants from the government for the recovery of VAT. Government regularly tells us that concessions for charities creates unfair competition, but the failure to extend the grant back system means the Chancellor has left charities at a disadvantage. The voluntary sector plays an increasingly important role in public service provision."

Notes to Editors:

1. The Charity Finance Directors' Group was set up in 1987 and is an umbrella group that specialises in helping charities to manage their finance-related functions.

2. CFDG's 1000 plus members are responsible for the finances of charities with a wide variety of income levels. Over 60% of the top 500 charities are members of the CFDG. Between them CFDG members manage about £10 Billion in charity income per year.


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