VOLUNTARY SECTOR – Brown’s charity handout will not relieve #1bn VAT

While Gordon Brown concentrated on making it easier to give to charitable organisations, Stephen Burgess, charity director at Saffery Champness, said that the chancellor would disappoint fundraisers by failing to introduce measures to reduce the #1bn paid in tax, much of it in VAT. Burgess said: ‘Everyone in the sector agrees that we would like some sort of relief on VAT. ‘It’s incredibly complex and the sector has been working for simplification.’ A recent MORI poll showed 79% of people believe charities should not be paying VAT at all, he added. The help given by Gordon Brown to charity donations will commit the government to add an extra 28 pence for every pound a taxpayer gives to charity. The chancellor also pledged an extra 50 pence for every pound given through the payroll and announced tax relief would be available, not just for cash donations, but also for gifts of shares. Companies will also get relief on the full amount of a corporate donation. Ticket sales for charitable events will be exempt from VAT. BOB BENNETT, FD NORTHERN ROCK ‘It is a well-balanced Budget with strands of radicalism that only New Labour could introduce. ‘There were no major tax reductions or a spending spree and that will help to provide a strong economic background for UK plc. That should help keep both interest rates down and inflation low.’ DAVID NUSSBAUM, FD OXFAM ‘This represents an invitation to charities to engage with the British public to get them giving. It will be quite a challenge for us all to rise and make the most of it. ‘The moves to further exempt ticket sales for charity events from VAT is welcome. But a number of initiatives already announced are very important.’ HELEN KILPATRICK, WEST SUSSEX CC TREASURER ‘The government will give schools extra money for books but schools have their own priorities. Decisions about spending are better made locally. ‘They have increased spending on the NHS but social services is equally important and equally strapped for cash. But social services doesn’t grab the headlines like the NHS.’ COLIN TOURICK, MD, ASSOCIATED FLEET SERVICES ‘We are delighted the chancellor has decided not to introduce the four-tier vehicle excise duty until next March. It is also very helpful because it coincides with the introduction of the Y-registration plates. ‘It would have been nice if there had been some clarification of the use of vehicle list prices to set company car taxes.’ NIGEL CHISM, BASTEN, GREENHILL ANDREWS, FD ‘It was a political speech really and the tax burden will remain, although the 100% capital allowances on investment in IT is quite good. It is rare that I find myself agreeing with William Hague, but I take his point that we will have to wait and analyse the accompanying literature to see what really happened in the Budget.’

Related reading