The Charity Finance Directors' Group (CFDG) welcomed the
£20m Hardship Loan Fund in the budget but was disappointed
by the lack of firm commitments which would help the sector
in the long term.
Issues missed were those such as exploring an 'opt-out'
system for Gift Aid or action on the withdrawal of the VAT
Staff Hire Concession.
Ernese Skinner, policy and campaigns manager at CFDG, said,
"Charities will be critical to the speed and stability
with which the UK comes out of recession. We are therefore
pleased to see the £20m Hardship Fund, and that the
Government is taking forward proposals around a Social Investment
"We are also pleased by the announcement of a consultation
on bringing Charity Investment Funds under the regulation
of the FSA, which would maintain the associated tax reliefs."
"However, the Governmen have missed a chance to support
collaborative working in the secto by not providing any
targeted VAT relief for charities looking to share services.
In addition, we note that the legislation around Substantial
Donors to charity has not been immediately repealed. Although
this is disappointing, we hope to work with Government to
develop an effective anti-avoidance purpose test as soon
The Treasury has not ruled out the introduction of 'opt-out'
legislation for Gift Aid for which CFDG and other sector
bodies has lobbied for over the last year, but is concentrating,
for the time being, on the effect of redirecting higher-rate
relief from donors to charities.
Kate Hand, policy and campaigns Officer at CFDG, said:
"in the light of CFDG's ongoing work on sustainability
we are particularly pleased to see such an emphasis on building
a low-carbon future. The money available for small and medium-sized
enterprises to improve their energy efficiency will be welcome
to charities as they start to look at this area in more