The government should consider introducing a match-funding scheme for all legacies left to charities in wills, according to Remember A Charity.
Remember A Charity, the membership body that encourages people to leave gifts to charity in their wills, has today released its 2015 general election legacy manifesto.
It says: "We call on the next government to work with Remember A Charity to devise and implement a match-funding scheme for charitable gifts in wills." The manifesto says that if government had match-funded the first £2,000 of all legacy gifts, the annual cost to the public purse in 2012 would have been £187m.
"This could represent a relatively inexpensive way to create a significant step-change in legacy giving rates and the capacity and sustainability of the UK’s non-profit sector," the manifesto says.
According to the document, the charity sector would receive a further £1bn a year if the rate of estates that included gifts to charity increased from the current 7 per cent to 11 per cent.
The manifesto also calls on the government to increase incentives for solicitors and will-writers to inform their customers of the option of giving through their wills, to encourage the promotion of will-writing and legacy giving in private sector firms – in particular those delivering government contracts – and to include messages encouraging people to write wills in government communications, in particular pensions communications.
Rob Cope, director of Remember A Charity, said a future Conservative government should consider the legacy implications of a new plan to remove family homes worth up to £1m from inheritance tax.
Cope says that the move, announced on Sunday by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, would cut the number of people eligible for the inheritance tax relief on charity legacies.
About 6 per cent of estates attract inheritance tax. In 2011, the coalition introduced a scheme reducing inheritance tax from 40 per cent to 36 per cent for people who left at least 10 per cent of their estates to charity.
Cope said: "The government intended the relief as a way to incentivise more people to consider leaving a legacy; if this plan does go through, we need to look at other ways to create those incentives."
You can download the manifesto using the link below