2018 Budget: A Charity Perspective
There was little in the 2018 Budget to wildly excite charities. Those organisations who have had to step up and run public toilets, as council cut have set in, will be pleased to hear that from 2020 business rates will no longer apply to public lavatories.
It seemed however that this announcement was more about setting up toilet puns for the rest of the Chancellor’s speech than supporting communities.
Other smaller organisions did come off slightly better with blood Bikes and similar emergency vehicles being given relief from VED from 2020. The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme rises to £30 and the Retail Gift Aid Scheme becomes less costly to administer.
Village Halls and Miners Welfare charities benefit from the refund of the VAT element on refurbishment contracts to celebrate the WW1 centenary.
Trading & Investment
Those Charities with trading activities are able to do more before they are taxed where the limit for turnover at both £20,000 and £200,000 has been increased from 25% to 40%. It will be interesting to see how far the 2021 extension of start up loans will apply to Social Enterprises.
Insurance & Financial Dispute Resolution
In terms of insurance, despite more Insurance companies (the two largest charity Insurers) making more contributions to the #NoCharityIPT message that we have been running since 2016 with Charity Finance Group, the plea to reduce the £40m burden on charities fell on deaf ears. However we are glad that the tax has not been raised. We acknowledge the role played by the ABI and BIBA together with general industry backing.
We were pleased to see that the FCA plans to expand access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) to small and medium enterprises was acknowledged. This will bring more charities into this dispute resolution and redress service.
We were also pleased to see extra support for mental health with a £10M donation to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supporting veterans on the First World War centenary, in lieu of exempting VAT on the sales of commemorative items. It was good to see the Government supporting the Air Ambulances with £10M of funding.
In the Education sector there was £1.7M announced for programs to educate UK students on the Holocaust. Funding includes provision for students to visit Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.
We will be watching closely how the increase in funding for Universal Credit helps those in need and if it takes pressure off charities. The increase in tax on white cider should help reduce the consumption levels of this drink by vulnerable people and the resultant help charities provide. The change in the limit on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals is also a good move to alleviate addiction and the resultant effect on lives which often leads to charitable intervention.
Finally we welcomed the £1B increase in MOD spending with an element on prioritising capability on cyber protection as well as the £50M annual fund to address the most urgent challenges in this area. This will help protect us all but specifically data held by charities, care, social welfare organisations.