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Covid-19: Support for Charity Sector

Volume 690: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2021

The Government have provided an unprecedented multibillion- pound package of support for Britain’s charities, including £750 million of dedicated funding that has helped more than 15,000 organisations across the country respond to the impacts of covid-19 and relieve the pressure on our NHS.

As we all know, yesterday marked International Women’s Day, a day when we celebrate and recognise the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. However, this pandemic has also shone a light on domestic abuse and the struggles of many women across the country, so will my right hon. Friend set out what steps he is taking to support charities in this field so we can ensure that victims and their children can access the support they need?

I join my hon. Friend in marking International Women’s Day yesterday, and he raises a very important issue. That is why my right hon. Friend the Chancellor at the Budget last week committed a further £90 million of funding; that, of course, builds on the £125 million announced at the spending review and indeed the earlier £25 million that had also been provided, recognising the 65% increase in calls to the national domestic abuse hotline and the renewed focus within Government on this important issue.

Charities across these islands have done amazing work through the pandemic, so with the Finance Bill coming up will the Treasury reward the efforts of these charities and encourage the public to donate by temporarily increasing the rate of gift aid from 20% to 25% and expanding the small donations scheme to make gift aid much easier to claim?

I join the hon. Lady in recognising the huge contribution that charities have made. In respect of specific tax measures, obviously they were dealt with by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor in the Budget last week, but I remind the hon. Lady of the £750 million of dedicated funding that has been provided to date in recognition of that important work.