This is the time of year when the Treasury consults ahead of the upcoming budget. Last week the Association of Charitable Foundations; Big Society Capital; Charity Finance Group; Institute of Fundraising; Voice for Change and NCVO wrote a letter to the Economic Secretary to the Treasury as part of this consultation.
Although the past few months have seen positive economic news, many people are still struggling and our sector continues to work in a tough environment with pressures on its income coupled with rising demand for services. The upcoming budget is an opportunity for the government to do more to support the sector and help it make its most effective contribution to society.
What are we asking for?
We are asking for the government to continue to implement changes around the Gift Aid Declaration and Payroll Giving so that we can make it as easy as possible for people to give.
But we also want the government to look again at some policy areas. For example, at a time when many small organisations are facing financial difficulties we believe that the government should do more to help. So we are recommending that the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme eligibility is extended to cover all charities registered for Gift Aid and the amount that can be claimed through the scheme is increased.
The sector can also play a bigger role in delivering better public services but many voluntary organisations are being passed over for contracts. We believe that targeted investment by the Treasury could improve this situation and are recommending more funding is given to better training for procurement officials and help to get the sector ready for contracts as well as undertaking a full review into the implementation of the Social Value Act to assess its impact.
We also ask the government to look at a range of issues such as pensions, social investment tax relief, annually managed expenditure and legacies.
A fair and sustainable economy
Fair and sustainable economic growth would improve the lives of all parts of our society and our sector has an important contribution to make in achieving this. But in order for the sector to play its fullest role, we need the government to keep us at the heart of budget discussions.