Billed as the ‘end of austerity’, October’s budget was expected to deliver big announcements. Whilst there was no headline announcement for the charities sector, there were several smaller ones which are of relevance to the sector, including:
- an increase in the upper limit of the small trading exemption for charities, allowing charities to engage in some small scale trading without incurring tax on the profits. This will increase the thresholds from £5,000 to £8,000 where turnover is under £20,000 and from £50,000 to £80,000 where turnover exceeds £200,000;
- an increase in the upper limit of the Gift Aid small donations scheme to £30;
- further funding of £15m for charities to distribute surplus food; and
- a donation by the Treasury of £10m to support veterans with mental health needs.
The budget also contains a number of announcements which, while not directly targeting charities, may be of interest:
- £20.5 billion of extra funding for the NHS over the next five years, including provision for the development of a mental health crisis service, which will be of interest to charities;
- £650m of grant funding for Social Care for English councils for 2019/20, as well as an additional £45m for the disabled facilities grant in England in 2018/19;
- £84m committed over the next five years to expand children’s social care programmes to a further 20 councils; and
- a windfall of £1.6 billion for Research and development funding, in order to help position the UK as a world leader in new technologies.