Charities Bulletin: Spring Budget 2023
The spring budget, announced by chancellor Jeremy Hunt this week, included some encouraging developments for the third sector. In this article, partner Samantha Pritchard explains what was pledged.
£100m support for charities and community organisations
Partly to alleviate pressures incurred by the cost of living crisis, the budget pledged over £100 million of support for charities and community organisations.
This funding will be targeted towards the most at-risk organisations who are facing increased demand and higher delivery costs.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed that approximately three quarters of the funding will be used to deliver grants, particularly to organisations delivering emergency support to vulnerable people in the form of shelter, warmth and food.
The remaining quarter will be focused on investment in energy efficiency and sustainability measures to reduce future operating costs for voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.
Additionally, there has been a £63 million fund launched for public leisure centres and swimming pools.
Domestic focus for charity tax reliefs
The government will restrict access to charitable tax reliefs to UK charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs only from April 2023 in an effort to protect the Exchequer and focus UK taxpayer money on UK charities.
European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) charities that HMRC has previously accepted as qualifying for charity tax reliefs before 15 March 2023, will have a transitional period until April 2024. This will not impact charities registered with the Charity Commission, OSCR or CCNI but will need careful consideration for those charities outside of this jurisdiction who seek to operate here.
HMRC estimates that this will save taxpayers £5m in 2024-25 and £10m a year after that.
The government has published a call for evidence on various options to reform VAT relief for the installation of energy saving materials.
It could mean that the possible extension of the relief will include buildings used solely for a relevant charitable purpose.
The Treasury announced that tax relief for theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries will stay at rates of 45%-50% for a further two years.
Suicide Prevention Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Grant Fund
The government will make £10 million available for a grant fund for suicide prevention VCSE organisations in England across 2023-24 to 2024-25 to support people experiencing suicidal thoughts or approaching a mental health crisis.
Dormant assets funding
The budget funding follows welcomely on from the DCMS’ recent confirmation that hundreds of charities and social enterprises are to receive a further £31 million via the dormant assets scheme.
For more information about what the budget means for your charity, or for charity advice from our expert team, please contact Samantha Pritchard directly using [email protected] or 0191 211 7905.