Houses of Parliament

Charity Retail Association’s Spring Statement submission focuses on business rates and retail Gift Aid

In one week’s time (Tuesday 13 March) The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond will respond to the forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in a Spring Statement to the House of Commons and the nation. The Spring Statement is a new event introduced by this Chancellor.  Previously the government announced its Budget each Spring with an Autumn Statement in between.  So whilst it will not be as comprehensive as previous budgets, this is still an excellent opportunity to influence the government at a time they are considering fiscal policy and tax matters.

This is why the Charity Retail Association has made a submission to the Chancellor for consideration as part of his Spring Statement.

The submission (which you can read here) makes two key asks of the Treasury.

  1. We ask for the Chancellor to introduce a de minimis limit of £20 on retail Gift Aid claims made by charity shops. We believe this cutting of red tape would be simple and easy to achieve and would be in line with the £20 limit in the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme.  The result of this simple reform would be to cut costs for our members and ensure that they can spend even more on their parent causes.  Our Head of Public Affairs previously set out this view on our blog.
  2. We ask for the system of Business Rates relief for charity shops to be made more consistent. At the current time our members operate under a postcode lottery where around one in seven shops receive additional rate relief from their council but the vast majority do not. Worse, the way in which this relief is handed out is often not transparent and apparently random. We ask the Chancellor to introduce a simpler system of 100 per cent business rates relief for all charity shops to allow us to produce even more social value for our communities. We also ask for confusion around the status of charity shops run through trading subsidiaries to be cleared up. These asks are in line with our policy positions first presented in on June 2017 Manifesto for the UK’s charity shops which you can read here.

Robin Osterley, Chief Executive of the Charity Retail Association said:

“Charity retail is not a demanding sector in terms of its asks of government. On the whole we go about our business quietly, efficiently and profitably, providing the benefits mentioned above with little recourse to the public purse. This year’s Spring Statement presents a few golden opportunities for the government to re-confirm its support for our cherished sector; particular in confirming business rates support and the introduction of a de minimis limit for retail Gift Aid claims. We hope the Chancellor will listen to our ideas and implement these simple changes which will help charity shops to do even more to support environments, communities and economies across the UK.”

If you agree with our policies why not send you own submission to the Chancellor backing them up by emailing Chancellor.correspondence@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk?