NCVO secures help of MPs to change small donations bill

The umbrella body says some MPs have agreed to press for amendments in the committee stage of the legislation

Collection box
Collection box

A group of MPs will table amendments at committee stage to simplify the Small Charitable Donations Bill for charities, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

The bill, due to have its second reading in the House of Commons this afternoon, will introduce the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which will allow charities to claim Gift Aid-like payments on small cash donations of under £20, up to a total of £5,000 a year, without individual Gift Aid declarations.

The scheme has been criticised by the NCVO, the Charity Finance Group and the Institute of Fundraising for being too complex.

Chloe Stables, parliamentary manager at the NCVO, told Third Sector that it had secured agreements from several MPs to propose amendments to the bill at committee stage, which will follow today’s second reading, to make it more favourable to charities.

"We have MPs who are supporting us and will move amendments in our favour when the bill reaches the committee stage," she said. "This is part of a group of MPs who are interested in supporting the voluntary sector and have been active on our behalf in the past."

Stables declined to name the individual MPs or confirm precisely what the expected amendments would say.

The NCVO has called on the government to remove a requirement under the scheme that charities must raise £1 under Gift Aid for every £2 raised using the scheme. It wants the government to relax eligibility rules that say charities cannot use the scheme unless they have claimed Gift Aid in three of the past seven years and have a good record with HM Revenue & Customs.

It also wants relaxation of the rules that allow charities operating ‘community buildings’ to claim relief on more than one set of donations in certain circumstances.

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