Autumn Statement and the voluntary sector

Chancellor Philip Hammond gave his first and, it turns out, last Autumn Statement on 23rd November. This news item attempts to round up material of particular relevance for the voluntary sector.

Firstly, the full Autumn Statement plus supporting and related documents can be found on the government website.

New Budget timetable: The government is to move to “a single major fiscal event each year” – following the spring 2017 Budget and Finance Bill, Budgets will be delivered in the autumn, with the first one taking place in autumn 2017.

Military and emergency services charities and other related good causes can now apply for the next round of LIBOR funding (with £102 million of fines going to that fund). Civil Society News published a related news item earlier in the day ‘The mystery of government grant funding continues‘.

Quick extracts from the #volsecas Twitter feed:

  • Comic Relief win contract to distribute tampon tax fund of £3m. (NCVO) (see Statements extracts below)
  • NLW up to £7.50 next April, means that the average full time employee will be £666 more expensive for #charities. (CFG)
  • Personal allowance rises to £11,500 next April – make sure that people know when they #GiftAid – tax pool is narrowing. (CFG)
  • Insurance Premium Tax to go up to 12% from next year, this is a cost for #charities particularly events based fundraising. (CFG) (see Statements extracts below)

A round-up from Civil Society News includes changes to Social Investment Tax Relief. Charities will be able to take on £1.5million of investment, as opposed to one million, but only charities with fewer than 250 employees will qualify in future. (Also see Statement extracts below)

All related Civil Society News items. The Guardian has ‘Voluntary sector reactions to 2016 autumn statement‘.

Sector analysis and issues

NCVO has a quick ‘Autumn Statement 2016 – Winter is coming. Still.

Charity Finance Group has produced two articles:

There may be some further sector material, to be updated here as and when.

Selected Statement extracts

4.17 Gift Aid digital – As announced at Budget 2016, the government will give intermediaries a greater role in administering Gift Aid, simplifying the Gift Aid process for donors making digital donations. (Already announced, and covered here.)

4.34 Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) – From 6 April 2017, the amount of investment social enterprises aged up to 7 years old can raise through SITR will increase to £1.5 million. Other changes will be made to ensure that the scheme is well targeted. Certain activities, including asset leasing and on-lending, will be excluded. Investment in nursing homes and residential care homes will be excluded initially, however the government intends to introduce an accreditation system to allow such investment to qualify for SITR in the future. The limit on full-time equivalent employees will be reduced to 250. The government will undertake a review of SITR within two years of its enlargement.

5.14 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 and other related good causes. This includes £20 million to support the defence related capital costs of the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre at Stanford Hall in Nottinghamshire. (See this link for applications info.)

5.15 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. The government will also invite applications from charities from 1 December 2016 for the next round of Tampon Tax funding to support women’s charities, including those running programmes that tackle violence against women and girls.

5.18 Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme – Following the review announced at Autumn Statement 2015, the government is amending the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to make it more accessible and flexible, and to ensure fairer treatment between charities that are structured in different ways. (Already announced, and covered here.)

5.12 Rough Sleeping Fund – The government is committing a further £10 million over two years to the Rough Sleeping Fund. This will double the size of the fund, which will support and scale up innovative approaches to preventing and reducing rough sleeping, particularly in London.

3.45 Credit unions – From 2018, the government will expand an existing scheme which incentivises credit union membership in communities at risk of being targeted by loan sharks. This will use funds recovered under the Proceeds of Crime Act from convicted loan sharks.

4.30 Museums and galleries tax relief – The government will broaden the scope of the museums and galleries tax relief announced at Budget 2016 to include permanent exhibitions so that it is accessible to a wider range of institutions across the country. The rates of relief will be set at 25% for touring exhibitions and 20% for non-touring exhibitions and the relief will be capped at £500,000 of qualifying expenditure per exhibition. The relief will take effect from 1 April 2017, with a sunset clause which means the relief will expire in April 2022 if not renewed. In 2020, the government will review the tax relief and set out plans beyond 2022.

4.33 Business rates – To remove the inconsistency between rural rate relief and small business rate relief the government will double rural rate relief to 100% from 1 April 2017.

4.40 Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) – The standard rate of IPT will rise to 12% from 1 June 2017. IPT is a tax on insurers and so any impact on premiums depends on insurers’ commercial decisions.