SNP MP for Gordon, Richard Thomson, has given his support to calls from the charity sector for the Chancellor to increase ‘Gift Aid’ in his forthcoming budget from 20% to 25%.
Gift Aid is a scheme that allows charities to increase the value of donations made by UK taxpayers. Brought forward by a coalition of charities, the campaign is urging the introduction of a two-year Gift Aid emergency relief package and the extension of the Small Donation scheme, which makes claiming gift aid easier for small charities.
The charity sector is facing one of the biggest challenges it has ever faced. Increased levels of demand for services, requirements to respond to Covid-19 and caring for the most vulnerable and marginalised individuals in communities allied to a drop-off in charitable giving, have all placed increased pressures on charities and what they are able to do.
The Gift Aid Emergency Relief Package being called for in the Budget would mean that a £100 donation from a UK tax-payer would increase to £133.33 for the charity once Gift Aid had been claimed. In total, this would result in an additional £450 million to help the sector keep running in the wake of the pandemic and beyond. Over 600 charities have signed up to the campaign.
Commenting, Mr Thomson said: “Charities have taken a significant hit to their funding due to the pandemic. Many charities provide funds and offer support for vital services for our communities. Any reduction in their ability to support those who need them most would have a very serious impact.
“I am joining the campaign to have a two-year Gift Aid Emergency Relief Package established so the public can choose to give charities an additional boost when donating. I am hopeful that such a move can help give charities the lifeline they need to continue their fantastic work now and beyond the pandemic.”