Charity Finance Group responds to the Chancellor's Autumn Statement

5th December 2013

Caron Bradshaw, CEO at CFG said: 

"The Chancellor’s top-line message is that the plan is working – the economy is finally on the up, and unemployment is down. However, times are still difficult for charities and many other employers. Many are struggling to stabilise their income, and operational costs are rising with inflation. Anything that keeps costs down is for the most part to be welcomed. 

"There are potential savings for all charity employers with staff under the age of 21 as a result of removal of employer national insurance contributions. Freezing fuel duty and capping inflationary rises on business rates could also take some of the pressure off, especially if local authorities are increasingly reducing their discretionary reliefs. We have also seen real growth in charity shops recently, and the announced discount of £1000 on rates for small to medium high-street retail premises will be a really positive announcement for a growing area. 

"It’s not surprising that following the publication of the NAO report into Gift Aid and on the Cup Trust, we are seeing some moves to tighten up the regulation of charities in the tax system. Legislation will be implemented to absolutely make clear that vehicles set up purely to avoid tax cannot be entitled to charity tax relief – something it’s hard not to agree with. As usual, we wait to see the detail. A joint registration process for the Charity Commission and HMRC leaves us hopeful – if done well this should help streamline the process of registration, improve regulation and most critically of all, get more charities into using Gift Aid in the first place. 

"We’re pleased that the social investment tax relief is included, with effect from April 2014, and that it will apply to certain debt and equity products in charities. Hopefully this will mean simple unsecured loans will qualify for the relief – something we called for in our response. We’ll be interested to see the rate at which the relief is set and other terms. Government are also due to publish a road map for social investment in January and we hope this will include steps to address the demand side of the market too." 

-Ends- 

Notes to editors:

1. Charity Finance Group; inspiring the development of a financially confident, dynamic and trustworthy charity sector. Charity Finance Group works with finance managers to enable them to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need; promoting best practice in charity finance, driving up standards, campaigning for a better operating environment and ensuring every pound given to charity works harder - it’s essential to maintain the trust of charity donors. CFG has more than 2,200 members, all senior finance professionals working in the sector and collectively our members are responsible for the management of over £19bn in charitable funds. www.cfg.org.uk 


2. For further information, please contact Jane Tully, head of policy and public affairs, CFG at policy@cfg.org.uk, 020 7871 5474 or on 07584609403

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