Having successfully persuaded the Chancellor to abolish the charity tax in 2012, Steve Clapperton, Campaigns Manager at the Charities Aid Foundation, says the current economic climate continues to pose new challenges for charities in 2013.
For the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), early 2012 was dominated by changes to tax reliefs proposed in the Budget and the consequences this would have for the charitable sector. CAF helped lead the ‘Give It Back George’ campaign, which successfully called on the Chancellor to abolish the charity tax.
The Chancellor had proposed the introduction of a cap on income reliefs, which would have affected the amounts philanthropists could give, and would have hit charities of all sizes. Charities, philanthropists, senior politicians and the national media added their weight to our campaign, and after seeing the strength of support for the campaign the Chancellor reconsidered and cancelled the proposed tax cap.
That mission accomplished, we have now turned our attention to the challenges that the wider economic climate poses for charities. Our annual survey of giving suggests that donations to charities fell by 20% in real terms during 2011/12. This puts the future of many charities at risk, and threatens the living standards of the millions of people – often the most vulnerable – who rely on the support and services that charities provide. CAF research published in December 2012 shows that 17% of senior charity workers surveyed believe it likely that their charity will have to close in the next twelve months.
CAF has teamed with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations to launch the ‘Back Britain’s Charities’ campaign. Our campaign calls on politicians, businesses and the public to do what they can to protect and support our charities during this difficult economic time by giving as regularly as they can, regardless of how much time and money they are able to give,
CAF’s campaign also aims to highlight the actions the Government can take to help charities, including the modernisation of Gift Aid so that every pound given to charity goes even further. We will also be keeping a close eye on cuts made by local and central government to ensure that charities are not hit disproportionately. Next year will be a crucial year for many organisations in the third sector, particularly as many are struggling with shrinking budgets and increased demand for their services – more needs to be done to give charities a secure future.
For MPs looking for a New Year’s Resolution that isn’t one of the usual suspects we urge you to do your bit for the charities in your constituency, make a difference in 2013 and Back Britain’s Charities!