Budget 2017 sees Mixed Reaction from the Charity Sector25-Mar-2017
With just three mentions of ‘charity’ in the official Budget document, significant groups within the charity sector seem divided on whether this is a good
or bad thing.
The 2017 Budget was recently broadcast, and did not seem to include anything specific in the interest of the voluntary or charity sector.
The sentiment from the NCVO is that while the Budget was “very quiet... for charities”; it suggested this seems to be a more strategic approach from the current Chancellor, than with previous chancellors.
They also suggested that funding for social care and schools would be of interest to those sectors, although there is still hesitation over the Insurance Premium Tax and business rates.
The sentiment from Charity Finance Group (CFG), however is that the Government is ignoring the voluntary sector; and that the sector has to make sure the important contribution that they make is understood by politicians; but because of no further announcements to Insurance Premium Tax, the little coverage to charities in the Budget could not be a bad thing.
The suggestion from Civil society leaders network Acevo was that the announcements of new funding for domestic violence was a positive step but that the overall Budget was disappointing; they suggested that the Government still does not understand the extent of the skill and expertise which exists in civil society organisations, and that they should show “some evidence that they (are) committed to the shared society”.
However, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), the service provider for national and international charities, appealed to the Government to listen to charities: Reminding the Government that the Chancellor made a pledge to make Britain stronger, fairer and better, and so this would mean the Government works hand in hand with charities in order to deliver this, and although it was admirable the Chancellor said funding was to go to some charities, there needs to be more to the plan than temporary funding measures.
Charity Tax Group (CTG) seemed to suggest they would be expecting more support in the autumn from the Government; because of the very few announcements that had a direct impact on charities.
The National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (Navca) declared it was a missed opportunity on business rates; citing that even though it was good to see the extra £2 Billion investment into social care, the Chancellor was criticised for not giving business rates relief to charities.
The general opinion from these organisations was that where some groups within the charity sector have expressed the Statement was below expectations because there was no clear sign of any more support for the sector, others have stated that stability was welcome.