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Charitable Donations

Volume 546: debated on Wednesday 13 June 2012

7. What discussions Ministers in his Department have had with their ministerial colleagues on charitable donations. (110357)

We liaise regularly with other Departments in the development of our agenda to encourage more giving of both time and money.

Research from New Philanthropy Capital has revealed that 65% of charities are being forced to cut front-line services. In addition, after the way in which the tax relief proposal was handled, the expert Alana Lowe-Patraske said:

“It remains to be seen if donors and charities trust this government on philanthropy”.

Will the Minister update the House on how the Government will repair their relationships with charities?

I think the hon. Lady will find that most people in the sector and most commentators recognise and welcome the Chancellor’s change of mind on that. They also recognise that this is a Government absolutely committed to creating the conditions for charities and social enterprises to do more. That includes supporting more giving of time and money through initiatives such as the social action fund, through various match funding and through some generous tax incentives—

I commend the Government for their actions following the consultations on taxation and charitable donations, but may I urge the Minister to look again at the gift aid structure, and perhaps to consider a transfer to a system whereby individuals can deduct their charitable donations from their tax directly?

Gift aid and all matters relating to tax are a Treasury matter. My hon. Friend will be aware that gift aid is under constant review, and in the 2011 Budget some welcome initiatives were brought in to make gift aid easier to claim for small charities and small donations.