Freelance Fundraiser’s Jottings

22 February 2008

The Chancellor giveth and the Chancellor taketh away…

Darling’s first budgetAs we begin to get close to April 6th, many people will be looking forward to the reduction in income tax from 22p in the £1 to 20p in the £1. It will mean a bit of extra cash in the pocket or bank (although with cost of living rising daily, like the gas and other fuel bills for starters) many of us will hardly notice the change.

However, just bear a thought for all the charities that rely on Gift Aid to increase the value of your much appreciated gifts to them. Whenever the tax rate changes, so does the amount of Gift Aid. Since 2001 the tax rate has been consistent, enabling charities to increase the value of gifts by a whopping 28.2p for every £1 given. But not for much longer. The reduction of tax to 20p in the £1 means that in real terms, UK charities will lose out by about an estimated £75 million in this next financial year alone!

When you then take into account that they are also facing the huge hikes in fuel bills that householders are, many will find it harder to meet their financial needs. Running much-needed charitable services, be it a hospice, a centre for the disabled, a counselling service or any of the many others, it will be harder to do with costs going up and income coming down.

So when you get your April wage slip and you notice that there’s a bit more than last month, why not decide to share some of your good fortune with a cause close to your heart and increase the annual amount you give them, whether through regular monthly payments, or as a one-off gift? When you look around, despite the ridiculous cost of things today, the majority of us are actually very comfortable, compared to others, who are – literally – struggling to survive, day to day. Most of us could easily live with less, in order that others more needy might have a little bit more.

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