Manifesto Watch 2015: UKIP

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April 16, 2015 at 12:37

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos concludes with the United Kingdom Independence Party which unveiled their manifesto yesterday. Believe in Britain – The United Kingdom Independence Party’s Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide 20% business rate relief if it is the business’ only property and under £50k Repeal the Human Rights Act and replace with UK Bill of Rights Clamp down on ‘fake charities’ and state funded political activism Abolish Office for Civil Society Local government/Public Services Make it easier for small and medium sized businesses to tender for public sector contracts by removing the necessity to demonstrate compliance […]

Manifesto Watch 2015: Liberal Democrats

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April 15, 2015 at 18:30

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos continues with the Liberal Democrats which unveiled their manifesto earlier today. Stronger Economy. Fairer Society. Opportunity for Everyone – The Liberal Democrats Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide Lib Dems ‘value the important role of the voluntary, independent and community sectors’ in communities and delivering public services Support social investment for charities and social enterprises Extend business rate review to consider introducing a Land Value Tax New HMRC target to reduce the tax gap and new general anti-avoidance rule Ask all companies with more than 250 employees to publish different pay levels […]

Manifesto Watch 2015: Conservatives

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April 14, 2015 at 13:01

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos continues with the Conservative Party which unveiled its manifesto today. Strong Leadership, A Clear Economic Plan, A Brighter, More Secure Future – The Conservative Party Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide National Minimum Wage up to £8 an hour by 2020 No VAT or National Insurance increases Workplace entitlement to volunteering leave for 3 days a year with pay for those working in large companies or public sector Major review of business rates so that from 2017 they will reflect our ‘modern economy’ Support volunteering through National Citizen Service and Step Up […]

Manifesto Watch 2015: Green Party

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April 14, 2015 at 11:27

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos continues with the Green Party, which unveiled its manifesto today. For the Common Good – The Green Party Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide Green Party values “the contribution made by civil society organisations” National Minimum Wage up to £10 an hour by 2020 10:1 pay ratios between highest and lower paid staff Encourage divestment of fossil fuels and create greener alternatives Phase in 35 hour week End exploitative zero hour contracts Support social enterprise Support co-operatives through a co-op development fund Reducing NI for employers to 8% over the long term […]

Manifesto Watch 2015: Labour

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April 13, 2015 at 17:09

CFG’s analysis of the party manifestos starts with Labour, which unveiled its manifesto today. Britain can be better – The Labour Party Manifesto 2015 Summary of policies affecting charities: Sector-wide Support for charities and social enterprises in creating social value and supporting the social economy Large companies to publish gender pay gaps National Minimum Wage to be raised to £8 an hour by October 2019 Supporting the Living Wage through government procurement, alongside wider social impact considerations Cutting and then freezing business rates Repeal the Lobbying Act Local government Multi-year budgets for local authorities Local Public Accounts Committees to be […]

Gift Aid could be the key to encouraging a culture of giving

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April 8, 2015 at 10:21

Charities Aid Foundation has released its latest UK Giving report for 2014 which provides an excellent insight into the state of giving and donations in the UK. One of the key lessons that I believe that we should take from the report, however, is that more needs to be done to encourage a culture of charitable giving in the UK – one of the key asks from the sector in the latest Managing in a New Normal report. This is particularly important for young people. A lot has been written in recent months about the need for the sector to do more to […]

VCSE review points the way to better commissioning

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April 2, 2015 at 12:28

The Joint review of investment in VCSEs in the health and care sector (VCSE Review) last month published its interim report, which you can read online. The interim report is well worth a read, and highlights many of the problems that charities have been raising with public bodies and Ministers for several years. However, here are three key things that I have taken away from this report: 1.        It’s time to really open up commissioning to the sector Something that is often forgotten in the discussion about public services is that charities are not only service delivery organisations. Charities carry […]

A chance to restart the social investment conversation

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March 31, 2015 at 09:00

Last Friday saw the launch of the Alternative Social Investment Commission’s report. You can read the full report with its conclusions and recommendations here. As someone who has followed the social investment market’s development closely after the past few years, this report is a welcome breath of fresh air in a debate which appeared to have stagnated. The report starts, quite rightly, by looking at what social investment actually is. Over the years, there has been a tendency to radically extend the definition of social investment to meaning any money that the sector receives that isn’t a grant or a […]

The real picture – what can we learn from the Whole of Government Accounts 2013-14?

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March 30, 2015 at 17:17

Are you a government spending anorak? If so, I am sure that like me you spent all night reading through the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) 2013-14 which was published last Thursday. WGA consolidates the audited accounts of around 5,500 organisations across the public sector, to produce a comprehensive, accounts based picture of the financial position of the UK public sector. They are different from the National Accounts, because they use the International Financial Reporting Standards that charities and private sector bodies often use. So the WGA includes future spending to meet current obligations, PFI liabilities, pension liabilities and the […]

Budget 2015 – Missed opportunities and targeted giveaways

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March 18, 2015 at 14:56

The Chancellor has sat down, the media are pouring over the budget documents looking for stories to come out of the figures, but what has been the impact of the Budget for charities? A slight easing of austerity Looking at the overall picture, it seems clear that the impact of austerity is not going be significantly reduced at the start of the next Parliament, but will be a lot lighter towards the end. Ignoring the effect of inflation, this Budget has seen an easing of the cuts. In 2016-17, the Budget implies that the amount available to spend for departments […]