CRA Letter to the Daily Telegraph

On 14 February, the Daily Telegraph covered the issue of potential Business Rates rises for charity shops on it’s front page.

You can read the full story here.

In response, the CRA and some of our key partners wrote to the newspaper, as you can read below.  Our letter was published on 16 February 2017.

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Dear editor,

We read with alarm your front page story, “Charity shops face rate rise”, on Tuesday 14 February.

A thriving charity retail sector contributes a great deal to the community, economy and environment. Last year, charity shops raised £270 million for good causes, including local hospice care, and medical research as well as services for vulnerable adults and children and disabled people. Charity shops were also the largest source of volunteer opportunities in the country, helping to tackle social isolation amongst older people and equip young people with employability skills

While we recognise the financial difficulties facing many councils, we believe that imposing a business rate increase on charity shops would be a false economy that would increase the costs councils face in other areas. To take just one example, charity shops kept 330,000 tonnes of textiles out of landfill, saving councils across £27m in landfill taxes.

We urge councils to reject a questionable answer to short-term financial difficulties that could have damaging long term consequences.

Yours,

Robin Osterley, CEO, Charity Retail Association

Caron Bradshaw, Chief Executive, Charity Finance Group

Mike Taylor, Retail Director, British Heart Foundation

David Borrett, Director of Retail, Sue Ryder Hospice Care

Roy Clark, Director of Retail & Trading, Barnardo’s

Paul Thompson, Direct of Retail, British Red Cross

Anne Webb, Head of People and Communications, Oxfam UK