Public benefit is at the core of both charities and the tax system

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August 13, 2015 at 09:45

Some of you may have read a recent column in the Financial Times by its Money Week Editor, Merryn Somerset Webb entitled “Charity should not begin with a tax break (£)”. As a sector we are used to having to defend our privileged status, and we should never forget that it is a privilege, in the tax system. Most readers will remember the NCVO & CAF campaign “Give it back, George” that successfully got the last Coalition government to exclude charitable donations from a cap on personal tax reliefs. Only last year, we had to defend attempts to redefine a […]

Financial sustainability won’t be easy for the charity sector

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July 22, 2015 at 09:48

Today, has seen the launch of the review into the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector, conducted by CFG, NCVO, Institute of Fundraising, Locality, NAVCA and Small Charities Coalition. It has been a long piece of work, involving a call for evidence from the voluntary sector, with more than 100 charities responding to a detailed survey; pouring over existing statistics, synthesising various strands of research and forecasting the future of the sector’s finances. The full report, which you can download here, is a wakeup call for the charity sector, government and funders. Although the economy appears on the road to […]

We can’t ignore the charity sector’s financial situation

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July 13, 2015 at 15:34

Our sector has had a few days to recover from the decisions outlined in the Chancellor’s Budget last week. Although charities were not the focus, the decisions taken within it are going to have a big impact on our operating environment for the coming five years. Often we talk about the issues facing the sector in isolation; however, this is not how charities will experience them. It seems likely that over the next few years three things are going to put considerable pressure on already fragile financial situation: 1)    More cuts in government income, both grants and contracts 2)    Increasing […]

Welfare and employment dominate the Budget: What does this mean for charities?

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July 8, 2015 at 14:59

So we didn’t do that well with our bingo card – only ‘long term economic plan’, ‘£9 minimum wage target’, ‘fixing the roof whilst the sun is shining’ and the name dropping of a charity came up. Whilst the budget report does not have a section dedicated to the charity sector, there are a number of measures announced that will have an impact on charity finance which I will outline here. Keep an eye out for our briefing which will be posted on our website in due course. Profile of the cuts £17 billion of cuts were announced in today’s […]

#volsecbudget 2015 – CFG Live Blog

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July 8, 2015 at 09:12

09/07/2015 – 19:16 – AF This afternoon I attended the IFS post-budget briefing. Given the scale of the changes introduced it covered a lot of ground in a relatively short amount of time so will I provide a more detailed update later. But for now, I am going to briefly summarise the key issues that I think are relevant to charity finance. I do also recommend that you take a look at the materials available on their website. The opening remarks made by director of the IFS, Paul Johnson, neatly provides the IFS’s over-arching narrative: that it is hard to see […]

What can charities expect from Wednesday’s Budget? #VolSecBudget

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July 6, 2015 at 17:37

It seems like only yesterday that we were getting ready for the last Budget, but this Wednesday the Chancellor will deliver the first Conservative Government Budget for nearly 20 years and charities will be watching with interest. If the spending pattern follows that of the previous Parliament, we may well see a frontloading of cuts into this Budget as Osborne seeks to make significant changes early on. Whilst charities will not directly be a focus, there is still plenty to look out for in terms of impact on people that rely on charity services and the sector’s funding environment. You […]

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 […]

#volsecbudget – What should charities look out for?

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March 17, 2015 at 10:51

Tomorrow will mark the last Budget of this Parliament, and already a great deal has been trailed in the media from inheritance tax cuts to raising the personal allowance. Charity Finance Group coordinated a letter with other sector bodies at the start of the month to ask the Chancellor to tackle a number of issues such as Gift Aid, Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, VAT and capacity building for the sector. But what should charities be looking out for tomorrow when the Mr Osborne stands up at 12.30 after PMQs? Here are a few things that we think may interest […]

Can charities help end the ‘pushmi-pullyu’ of local government spending to support prevention?

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March 16, 2015 at 09:14

The recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on ‘The cost of the cuts: the impact on local government and poorer communities’ makes for fascinating reading. There is a lot of analysis and statistics on how the frontloading of government spending cuts on local government have hit services and communities, as well as the voluntary sector. While there are a number of worrying issues highlighted by this report, from the point of the view of charities and the sector’s finances, the most worrying was the squeeze on spending on preventative services and the lack of capacity of local authorities to undertake full […]