The letter outlines six proposals to tackle key challenges facing the sector.
It is vital that government invests strategically in the sector so that voluntary organisations can continue to meet society’s rapidly changing needs.
The proposals, aimed at small and medium sized organisations, are:
- Maintain mandatory charitable business rates relief at 80% - ensuring that this critical relief is able to support tens of thousands of charities and ensure money is directed to helping those who need support.
- Use windfalls, such as those previously directed from Libor Fines, to fund initiatives to increase the sector’s capacity including governance and commissioning – so that they address the key issues facing all charities and enable them to play a full role in public service transformation.
- Direct unspent Apprenticeships Levy funds from charities towards investment in voluntary sector skills – so that the Levy works for the sector and helps us to meet the needs of beneficiaries into the future.
- Introduce further increases in the National Insurance Contributions Allowance for charities, tapered in line with National Living Wage increases - maintaining a level playing field between voluntary organisations and the private sector on meeting the costs of the National Living Wage.
- Allocate 3% of the proceeds from government asset sales to support a Community Capital Fund – this will ensure that the sale of government land and proprieties leaves a long term legacy of stronger and more self-sufficient communities.
- Engage the sector on the Dormant Assets Commission and set out how the government will ensure it is independent and has transparent decision-making processes.
Commenting on the proposals Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive of CFG, said
“It is important that the voluntary sector continues to be proactive in putting forward initiatives and policy proposals to ensure that our sector is able to meet the needs of the people and communities that rely on us.
Charities have already diversified their funding streams and have sought to streamline their operations. It is in the government’s interest to provide strategic investment in the sustainability of the charity sector – especially to small and medium sized charities that are best placed to deliver services to those most at risk.”
The organisations who jointly submitted the proposals were ACEVO, Association of Charitable Foundations, Big Society Capital, Charity Finance Group, LloydsTSB Foundation, Locality, NAVCA, NCVO, Small Charities Coalition, and Voice4Change England.
Read the proposals in full (pdf).
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