Spring Budget 2021: The main points for the voluntary sector

An extension to the furlough scheme and social investment tax relief are among the big announcements affecting voluntary sector organisations

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Photograph: Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Photograph: Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, unveiled his Spring Budget in the House of Commons today.

Here are some of the main announcements affecting charities:

  • Sunak announced the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention (furlough) Scheme, which has been used by thousands of charities, would be extended until September. He said employers would be asked to pay 10 per cent toward the costs of furloughed employees in July, rising to 20 per cent in August.
  • Social investment tax relief, which was due to end in April, will be extended for a further two years.
  • A new £150m Community Ownership Scheme will offer match-funding of up to £250,000 for people to purchase local assets of value to their community, such as pubs or Post Offices.
  • An extra £300m will go into the government’s £1.6bn Culture Recovery Fund, designed to help arts and cultural organisations through the pandemic. There will also be a further £90m for government-sponsored museums and cultural bodies in England.
  • Charities that run shops or other retail schemes could be eligible for “restart” grants of up to £6,000 to help them reopen.
  • There will be an additional £19m to support domestic abuse programmes and £10m to support armed forces veterans with mental health issues.
  • The government will extend the apprenticeship hiring incentive scheme in England to September and increase the payment to £3,000.
  • The maximum amount for contactless payments will increase from £45 to £100, which will affect the amounts charities could take through contactless donations.

Charity sector figures have strongly criticised the government for the lack of sector-specific announcements in the Spring Budget. Read the full story here.

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