Consultation on single digital Gift Aid declaration is among Budget announcements

Chancellor George Osborne also plans consultation on tax relief for investment in social enterprises and reiterates commitment to overseas aid

George Osborne
George Osborne

A consultation on enabling digital donors to complete a single Gift Aid declaration covering all donations to charity made "through a specific channel" was among the major announcements affecting the voluntary sector in today’s Budget.

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, also announced a consultation on a new tax relief to encourage investment in social enterprises, and pledged to introduce an allowance covering the first £2,000 of national insurance contributions for all businesses, including charities, from April 2014.

Documents released as part of the Budget package said that the government also intended to publish a single document of fresh guidance for volunteers who wanted to run events, because previous documentation was "confusing".

It said the government would "consult on proposals to make it easier to claim Gift Aid through a wide range of digital giving channels, including options for enabling donors to complete a single Gift Aid declaration to cover all their donations through a specific channel".

Osborne also announced that government would meet a "long-standing commitment to the world’s poorest to spend 0.7 per cent of our national income on international development".

The international development budget is £8.8bn in 2012/13 and is expected to rise to about £11bn next year to meet the commitment. The move was welcomed by international development charities.

Osborne also confirmed that the government would redirect fines paid by financial institutions because of the Libor rate-rigging scandal to armed forces charities, including Combat Stress, which helps veterans with mental health problems.

The documents say the government will establish a new multi-agency network to "drive the transformation of local public services", following the Whole-Place Community Budget pilots that have been carried out in four areas to improve public services.

The pilots have brought together organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors to produce better integrated services to promote growth and reduce waste and duplication.

The government also confirmed that it would carry out a consultation on the eligibility conditions for community amateur sports clubs, as announced earlier this month.

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