Financial sustainability

VCSE Autumn statement proposals 2016

Charity Finance Group, along with nine other voluntary sector bodies, has written to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement on 23rd November.

The six proposals are focused on small and medium charities and are geared towards achieving:

1) Economic growth
2) Supporting people to take ownership of their local areas
3) Harness and driving innovation in technology

Download the full statement.

The proposals are as follows:

- Reduce irrecoverable VAT for charities - the government should phase in a rebate scheme to enable all charities to reclaim VAT incurred on non-business income over five years and convert existing ‘exemptions’ into ‘zero-ratings’ or ‘options to tax’ so that VAT can be recovered.

- The government should introduce a strategic approach to voluntary sector funding to ensure funding for voluntary organisations outside of normal departmental spending is distributed on an impartial basis according to the sector’s strategic needs.

- A Community Capital Fund should be created to provide central support and resources for asset ownership, with a particular emphasis on supporting community asset transfer. This will work to empower communities so that they have a real stake in their local areas and support the delivery of vital services at a time when there is massive pressure on the public purse.

- Partnership Hubs - these hubs should engender partnerships between local authorities and the local voluntary and community sector in the most deprived areas, with a view to identify and understand needs and solutions in the local community.

- A Voluntary Sector Technology Fund to support small charities to purchase new software and/or hardware equipment. This would enable charities to fight against fraud, increase their efficiency and potentially develop innovative ways to engage with the people and communities that they support.

- Connect for Good – a programme to bring together graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, to collaborate with charities on software projects in events around the country with specific focus on reaching deprived communities. The aim of this programme is to create ready-to-use products that charities can use immediately as well as identifying and responding to future issues.

Commenting on the proposals Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive of CFG, said:

“I am pleased to jointly submit these proposals to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement. It is important that the sector continues to work together to develop initiatives and policy proposals to ensure that charities can continue to provide vital services to people and communities across the country. This is perhaps even more important in light of Brexit and the unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in and I urge the Chancellor to engage with the sector to address the challenges that we all face and to make the most of the opportunities presented.

As a sector we should be confident in the major contributions that the sector makes to the economy and society and we should be proactive in making this case to government.”

The organisations who jointly submitted the proposals were ACEVO, Association of Charitable Foundations, Charity Finance Group, Institute of Fundraising, Locality, NAVCA, NCVO, Small Charities Coalition, Social Enterprise UK, and Voice4Change.

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