Spending Review and the charity sector

Announcements from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review of particular interest to those in voluntary organisations.

Also see our CharityBlog Storify.

Big Lottery

No raid of the funds allocated from the National Lottery to the Big Lottery Fund, which hands out a large number of small grants to local charities. See NCVO’s ‘Lottery cash threat’ news release from Saturday (21st November).

Gift Aid review

A Call for Evidence on the operation of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme is to be launched in December 2015  – “a big ask met” according to a CFG tweet.

National Citizens Service

Civil Society News tweets: Huge expansion in @NCS to 300,000 places. Likely to cost £400m a year.

Here’s their news article with more. The government’s flagship youth volunteering scheme, the National Citizen Service, will expand to serve 300,000 participants a year in 2020, at an estimated overall cost of £1.1bn.

Fines and VAT to charity

Further grants from LIBOR fines to be allocated to selected military charities. See Civil Society News item.

The ‘Tampon tax’ (of VAT at 5%, amounting to around £15 million) is to be allocated to selected women’s charities – Guardian news item with some reaction.

Social impact bonds

As reported by Civil Society News: The Office for Civil Society will be forced to reduce its number of staff but will have responsibility for distributing eighty million pounds of new funding for social impact bonds.

Charity Commission and OCS funding

There is to be a freeze for the Charity Commission’s funding over the next 4 years – the current funding (2015/16) is £20.3 million. Commission news release.

The future strength of the Office for Civil Society is worrying sector bodies, as it is part of the Cabinet Office, a government department which is to have a 26% budget cut. For instance local support body NAVCA says:

“It is important that the voluntary sector has a department that is dedicated to ensuring that government as a whole recognises and supports the contribution voluntary organisations and social action makes to communities. However, as it continues to shrink and the NCS continues to grow we would be worried if the OCS just became a delivery agency for the NCS.”

NCS = National Citizens Service.

And from think tank NPC:

“The death of the Big Society has been announced many times, but it really is hard to see the idea surviving if the only bit of government dedicated to it is stripped down or spread out across different departments.”

Sector overviews on the Autumn Statement

NCVO’s article includes information about the previously announced apprenticeship levy, which will now be introduced in April 2017.  Where an employer’s payroll is over three million pounds a year, there will be a levy of 0.5%. This would only impact  the 1,000 or so largest charities. “We will be talking to government over the development of the new Institute for Apprenticeships about how this will affect charities.”

The HR Bullets Autumn Statement for HR overview has some more on levy practicalities, and other payroll/personnel related matters. (Link suggested by Employment Law Weekly News.)

Charity Finance Group: What do charities need to know about the Spending Review? Or their briefing (pdf, 146KB) with a wider coverage.

The Charity Tax Group’s response includes a summary of relevant issues for charities.

Charities Aid Foundation article ‘The Spending Review and Autumn Statement – what’s in it for charities?

Scotland’s Third Force News has an overview of the announcements with a quick read ‘7 top points’.

Official documents

Key announcements, from HM Treasury.

Links for all Spending Review and Autumn Statement documents.