Philanthropy Review presses government on lifetime legacies and payroll giving

Chair Thomas Hughes-Hallett says review group will publish a charter next month

Thomas Hughes-Hallett
Thomas Hughes-Hallett

The Philanthropy Review will press the government to introduce lifetime legacies and reform payroll giving, according to its chair, Thomas Hughes-Hallett, chief executive of Marie Curie Cancer Care.

He told delegates at the Charity Finance Directors' Group conference last week that the review body expects to publish a charter in mid-June, outlining no more than 10 measures that it believes will improve philanthropy in the UK.

He said the review group, set up to design measures to encourage giving, was confident of persuading the government to adopt lifetime legacies. "We've met with Number 10 and the Treasury and been well received," he said.

The model of lifetime legacies is based on the US law of charitable remainder trusts, which allow donors to receive tax breaks for giving capital or property to charity during their lifetime, while continuing to have some right to income from the capital or use of the property.

He said the group would also look at how to incentivise more employers and workers to become involved in payroll giving, which he said could eventually be worth £500m a year to the sector. The payroll giving sector was "so under-used, it's embarrassing", he said.

The review will ask the government to look at other areas, including tax relief on gifts of goods other than shares and property, an increase in the amount that charities can claim in Gift Aid without paperwork, and a long-term campaign to encourage giving, particularly among young people.

"The philanthropy review will not publish a report, but a charter of measures to encourage more people to give more to any charity," he said. "We're not concerned about who gives, or to which charity.

"It's about getting to people and getting the culture of giving to become a norm. We want to emulate the successful campaigns which persuaded people to wear seat belts and reduced drink-driving."

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