Charity Aid Foundation (CAF) recently published their analysis of the 2020 government budget and it's impact on charities accross the UK.
Their roundup of what may impact the civil society sector includes a number of key announcements of interest for charities including the following:
"(The) budget included measures that sought to “unleash the potential” of businesses, stimulate entrepreneurialism and invest in research and development. There were also innovations to support those on low wages by raising pay, cutting taxes and reducing the cost of living by freezing duties on fuel and alcohol. The Government reiterated its concern for the most vulnerable in society, committing to helping people find a clear route to work and navigate the welfare system.
Charities will indirectly benefit from major investment in transport, communications infrastructure and job creation outside London as well as specific funding packages for flood relief, devolution and regeneration.
- The Government announced a financial plan for tackling Coronavirus that combines strengthening the social safety net (with measures on benefits), financial support for small employers (like tax relief, grants and loans) as well as funding for public services. We have joined calls alongside others in the sector to make sure that this funding is extended to charities.
- It included environmental policies such as tax reforms for utilities and fuel and investment in carbon capture and storage technology. A range of new institutions have been announced like the Nature for Climate Fund, the Nature Recovery Network Fund and the Natural Environment Impact Fund. Other initiatives include a new plastic packaging tax, the expansion of charging points for electric cars and financing for green transport.
- Public services will benefit from a range of new measures such as funding targeting at specific education interventions, affordable homes and housebuilding alongside help for rough sleepers, to be funded by raising the stamp duty for non-UK residents.
- Campaigners will be pleased with the abolition of the so-called “reading tax” (applying a zero rate of VAT to e-publications) and the so-called “tampon tax” (removing VAT on women’s sanitary products). There will also be a significant donation to civil society to fund mental health support for veterans.
- Other charities will be interested to see renewed NHS support for people with learning disabilities and autism, a new a £250 million Cultural Investment Fund and changes to the regulations for credit unions.
- Finally, there were hints of further important announcements to come. For example, there was a brief reference to the new UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which would match current levels of funding for each nation from EU structural funds at a minimum, with confirmation that further details will be seen in the Comprehensive Spending Review later this year. Similarly, the Government will also be clarifying new responsibilities for charities as employers, relating to changes to off-payroll working regulations."