CFG respond to Budget 2012

21st March 2012

Caron Bradshaw, CEO at CFG, said: “This is very much a budget for business, with little recognition of the contribution that the charity sector makes - we’re disappointed we’ve returned to just passing references this year. It is important that with continued difficulties for many people in the UK, charities and social causes are not forgotten.”

“There are concerns regarding the cap on personal tax reliefs, especially given the Chancellor’s implication that this would relate to reliefs on charitable giving. It would be devastating if there was a blow to philanthropy without proper consultation and impact assessment. The detail in the budget documents does pick up this point, stating that the Government will ‘explore with philanthropists ways to ensure that this measure will not impact significantly on charities that depend on large donations.’ However, this is not a strong commitment that the cap will not apply to charitable giving. Given that the only mention of the sector in the budget speech was relatively negative in emphasis it appears recognition of the value of the sector is falling off the agenda”

CFG expressed disappointment that despite focus on growth and opening public services, more has not been done to address difficulties in the operational environment for charities and other business.

Caron added; “CFG highlighted a number of areas where the Treasury should look to improve the tax and regulatory framework for charities, many of which would also benefit social enterprise and other small to medium sized business. The Chancellor pledged to prioritise a fairer, more efficient tax system, however, failed to consider charities in this endeavour. More is needed to address legal structures around multi-employer defined benefit pension schemes, making TUPE regulations and Fair Deal work, VAT, and other anomalies which dramatically impact on market diversification.”

“We welcome the emphasis on growth and development, but strongly urge the Government not to disenfranchise the not-for-profit sector from this aim - the sector is an important contributor to the economy and offers significant benefits to society. It’s promising to see reference to social investment in the budget documents, however further detail will be needed to establish whether Government is genuinely nurturing this evolving market.”

“It is important that provisions made in Budget 2011 continue to be prioritised and that Ministers are committed to ensuring that they yield long-term benefits for the sector.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

1. CFG is the charity that champions best practice in finance management in the voluntary sector. Our training and development programmes enable finance managers to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need. With more than 1,700 members, managing over £19bn, we are uniquely placed to challenge regulation which threatens the effective use of charity funds. For more information, please see www.cfg.org.uk

2. CFG made a submission to Government ahead of the Budget.  This can be found here.

3. To discuss any aspect of the Budget with CFG please call the Policy Team on 020 7250 8400 or email policy@cfg.org.uk.

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