The Charity Tax : The Big Society or a Bad Move
Post event press release:
Charity boss lambasts ‘ill-conceived’ George Osborne
Proposed changes to tax relief will hurt the most vulnerable
George Osborne’s plans to reduce tax relief on charitable donations were lambasted as ‘thoughtless and ill-conceived’ by a senior representative of the charity community tonight.
Speaking at a debate organised by the Oasis People’s Parliament, John Low CBE, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation said, “Last year, 11 billion pounds were given to charities – half of it was given by just 7% of donors. By making it harder for rich people to give money, the very services that charities offer to the most vulnerable people in our society are in danger with donations due to fall substantially.”
However, tax-expert and anti-poverty campaigner Richard Murphy described the row as a “storm in tea cup” claiming that the vast majority of charities do not depend on a handful of donations from the very wealthy and those that do are at risk of being unduly influenced by their funders. “What we need is an equality in tax relief that makes it easier for a broader range of people to give small amounts and reduces bureaucracy across the boards. At the end of the day, why should the donations of the poor be subsidised at a significantly lower rate than the donations of the rich.”
However, Steve Chalke, Founder of Oasis, hit back at this suggestion, “It’s all very well for us to sit in our ivory towers and re-imagine a utopian charitable donations system. But between the proposed changes being made and us being able to do that countless people – the most vulnerable in society – will struggle, suffer and die as the essential services that charities provide our lost.”
The Oasis People’s Parliament emergency debate was called in response to the government’s consultation on the proposed changes in tax relief.
Be part of an early response to the government’s consultation on the proposed Charity Tax
NEXT THURSDAY, 26 APRIL, 7:00 - 8:30pm
The Oasis Centre, 75 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7HS (opposite Lambeth North Tube)
- John Low CBE, CEO of the Charities Aid Foundation
- Richard Murphy, Director of Tax Research UK
Click here to book your place
Charities, philanthropists and even coalition politicians have united to condemn George Osborne’s budget proposals to limit the amount of money that higher rate tax payers can donate to charity, offset against their tax bill. They warn that the Chancellor’s plans are dispiriting, make no sense and will massively harm charities. The ‘Give it back George’ campaign is already backed by thousands of charities.
In response Downing Street have announced that there will now be a formal consultation into the matter, taking place across the summer. But, at the same time, George Osborne and his treasury ministers are defending their controversial plans and making it clear that there are "very good reasons" for the cap on which there can be compromise but no U-turn.
But charities warn damage is already being done and large donations are being put at risk because donors are feeling demoralised and disheartened at a policy which brands them as tax dodgers.
Together, we have an early opportunity to inform the process as we debate, discuss and analyse the proposed legislation.
So, come with your opinions and suggestions around a formal response to the proposed legislation and take your seat at The Oasis People’s Parliament with a keynote speech from John Low CBE, key player in the ‘Give it Back George’ Campaign and CEO of the Charities Aid Foundation. Response from Richard Murphy, Director of Tax Research UK, as well as contributions from other charity leaders and government representatives.
Chaired by Steve Chalke, Founder & CEO of Oasis.