18 April 2012
Following the announcement of the controversial decision to cap tax relief on charitable giving last week in the Budget, local charity Keech Hospice Care is extremely worried about the impact this will have on philanthropy and charitable giving.
The proposals, revealed by George Osborne in the latest budget, have been designed to ensure top earners only receive tax relief on donations of up to £50,000 or a quarter of their income. The Government has accepted that while there “will be an impact” on donations; they remain committed to its aim of ending a system which allowed wealthy individuals to avoid income tax.
The decision by the Coalition to cap tax breaks on charitable giving has continued to receive strong criticism from charities across the country who have claimed that the proposals represent a threat to their survival as the new limit will mean wealthy individuals will be less likely to donate.
Jacqui Shepherd, Director of Fundraising at Keech Hospice Care said: “Times are hard, and we need to protect and nurture our supporters. Anyone wanting to make a big charitable donation should certainly not be penalised for wanting to do so.”
She said: “As a small to medium-sized charity, large donations of the size being discussed are few and far between however this will still have a huge impact on us. This new cap will only impact on a relatively small number of donations, but these donations are the largest and therefore would have the biggest impact on the work we do.”
“Along with other hospices across the country, we help to save the state millions of pounds a year. As a hospice we receive only 25% of our £5million annual finances from the NHS. As a charity we rely on the communities that we serve to raise the other 75% of funds. All of the Keech’s facilities are provided free of charge, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to those who are need of our services. The incentive for the public to make high-value donations is being removed at a time when charities like us are relying on donations more than ever.”
It is estimated that gifts to charities from wealthy philanthropists accounted for more than 15 per cent of the £10.6bn given to charity in the UK last year.