Friday 24 September 2010

Gift Aid and Norway

With all the attention on cuts let's not forget 2 further hammer blows about to be delivered to our country's charities.

In january we suffer from a rise in VAT to 20%. This will add to our costs. It will further exacerbate thr problem we face in competition with the public sector. And at a time of continued inflation and rising demand.

Then in April we may loose the transitional relief on Gift Aid. A further hammer blow. It will rob us of £100m. On top of the £700m we already loose in unclaimed gift aid.

We have to campaign on both these issues. And loudly.

Following my letter to the Prime Minister on the VAT issue and on Gift Aid I will be meeting the treasury minister responsible Justine Greening MP on October 18.

It's time the sector as a whole campaigned on these issues. The cuts will be bloody. But here is an opportunity for Government to show they understand our sector needs support if it is to step up to the challenges of the Big Society agenda.

We must demand that transitional relief is continued. We must demand relief from the VAT increase. Its the duty of all the sector umbrella bodies to come together and campagin for this.

I'm worried that so far the sector appears to be supine in the face of dangers ahead. Of course there are real opportunities. We will grab them. But we must stand up to threats to our well being.

And what of Europe!

Tax relief for donations to charities was introduced in Norway only 10 years ago and there has been a steady increase in the use of it since. Their gifts added up to a total of 1,8 billion Norwegian kroner .

In May this year the Association of NGOs in Norway were notified that the Norwegian government were considering ending the tax-relief due to a demand from EU to open it for cross-border giving to charities in EU/EEA-area.

The Association of NGOs in Norway asked for help from euclid in their campaign to save tax relief. They wrote

" We are most grateful for all the very useful information many of the EUCLID-members provided us with ,relating to different EU-countries` national legislation on tax-relief and how different EU-countries have dealt with EU`s demand to open up for tax-relief on cross-border giving. It has been vital for our success on lobbying this issue to have so many examples from other European countries and also to be able to show that EU-countries that have already opened their tax-relief for cross-border giving are not experiencing that a large number of tax-payers claim tax-relief for donations to foreign organizations.

In late June we had a major break-through . The government will continue to give tax-relief for donations to charities and open up for cross-border giving. The Association of NGOs in Norway celebrates this as an important victory for the third sector. "

This demonstrates the value of how euclid leadership can support the sector across Europe. So well done to Filippo and the team!

Amusing- we have been able to help a succesful camapaign in Norway but we seem strangely quiet in the UK. So colleagues, how about it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can some one ask the Church of England why they have decided not to campaign for the retention of transitional relief on gift aid?