Autumn Statement response by NAVCA

Autumn Statement response by NAVCA

Philip Hammond gave his first Autumn Statement today. He announced that growth in the years up to 2020-21 would be lower than previously predicted. He also said that the Government would relax its fiscal rules so instead of balancing the budget by 2019-20, the aim is to do so as soon as possible in the next Parliament.

As always the BBC provide an at a glance summary of the main announcements.  The main announcements directly affecting charities were:

  • The use of banking fines – The government has committed a further £102 million of banking fines over the next 4 years to support Armed Forces and Emergency Services charities.
  • Tampon Tax Fund for women’s charities – The government will award £3 million to Comic Relief to distribute to a range of women’s charities.
  • Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme – Following the review the government is amending the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to make it more accessible and flexible.
  • Gift Aid digital –the government confirmed a previous announcement that it will give intermediaries a greater role in administering Gift Aid, simplifying the Gift Aid process for donors making digital donations.

Neil Cleeveley, Chief Executive of NAVCA, said;

“On a day when all the talk is about the nation’s multi-billion pounds public finances, it is important to remember that small investments can make a huge difference to people’s lives. The Chancellor has acted in a disappointingly traditional manner. I would argue for a more radical approach to match these very changed times.”

“There is a growing consensus that inequality not only hurts people and communities but hampers long-term economic performance. As a society we need a debate about how we want wealth and power distributed. As part of this I would like the Chancellor to recognise the many ways in which charities support people to improve their own lives rather seeing charities’ relationship with the state being defined in terms of public service delivery.”

“As a Living Wage employer we welcome the increase in the minimum wage but will continue to campaign for a real Living Wage of £8.45 an hour (£9.75 in London).”