12 March 2008
The Church of England has welcomed the transitional relief arrangement announced in the Budget for Gift Aid claims by charities over the next three years. In the Budget speech, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, announced a transitional rate of relief of 22 per cent from 2008/09 to 2010/11. This retains an estimated £8m per year that would otherwise be income lost by Church of England parishes, and means that parishes should continue to claim at the current rate.
The Church's National Stewardship Officer, Dr John Preston, commented: “I greatly welcome this much needed support to parishes and charities over the next three years. My real hope, though, is that the sector and Government are able to work together during this time to work out how a greatly simplified system of Gift Aid might be implemented. I also welcome the additional simplifications in the audit and claims processes that the Treasury have announced today.”
The Church of England is part of a coalition of sector bodies which includes Charity Tax Group, acevo, CFDG, NCVO and the Institute of Fundraising. Together, the coalition members have been calling on the Government to consider moving to an accounts-based Gift Aid system. This would reduce the existing onerous auditing system and boost charities’ revenues by approximately £400m a year.