29 May 2012
Charities renewed their call for the Government to listen to the
overwhelming demands to exempt charity donations from the planned
cap on tax reliefs in the wake of u-turns over VAT on hot takeaway
food and static caravans.
They called on Ministers to think again as a new poll showed
that the overwhelming majority of the public believe charities
cannot be expected to fill gaps in public services if Ministers cap
tax relief on major donations which support their work.
The ComRes Survey, commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation,
also found people were worried that plans to cap tax relief on
donations undermined the Government’s concept of a Big Society.
Charities have strongly backed the Government’s commitment to
increasing giving and promoting voluntary work through the idea of
a “Big Society”.
But the survey found that more than three quarters of people
warn that the Government cannot expect charities to play a greater
role in delivering public services while also trying to cap tax
relief on big donations.
Nearly two thirds of people said that the proposed cap on
charitable tax reliefs contradicts the Prime Minister’s vision of a
Big Society. And nearly six out of 10 agree that Government cuts
are undermining the idea of a Big Society.
Overall, a clear majority of people (61%) oppose the
Government’s proposal to cap tax reliefs for charitable donations,
including most Conservative (53%) and Liberal Democrat voters
More than 1,000 charities have backed the campaign against the
tax relief cap, warning that it will hinder the ability of
charities to carry out important work in areas such as social care,
medical research and treatment, higher education and the arts.
The survey found:
- More than three quarters (76%) of people agreed that the
Government annot expect charities to play a greater role in service
provision while at the same time introducing a cap on charitable
- Nearly two thirds of people (61%) agree that the proposed cap
on charitable tax relief contradicts the Prime Minister’s vision of
a Big Society·
- More than seven out of ten (71%) agree that charities are being
forced to fill the gaps in public services left by public sector
- Three quarters (75%) agree that in the current economic
climate, it is more important than ever that the Government
- Nearly six out of 10 (59%) agree that Government cuts are
undermining the idea of a big society
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation,
“The Government has shown it is prepared to listen on issues
like the pasty tax and the caravan tax. Now is the time for them to
listen to charities, donors and their own supporters to do the
right thing and exempt charitable donations from the damaging tax
“The Prime Minister’s vision of a Big Society could be
transformational, but risks being undermined by measures such as
the cap on tax relief for charitable donations.
“We are fully behind that idea of encouraging people to give
their time and money to good causes that benefit others, and want
to support the Government in making their vision of social action a
“This survey shows that the public are worried that the
Government’s idea of a Big Society is undermined by measures such
as the proposed cap on tax relief for donations to charity.
“We are sure that Ministers do not want to see the idea of a Big
Society undermined at a time when charities are facing financial
pressure and increasing demand for services. We want to work with
the Prime Minister and the coalition Government to promote an even
more generous giving society.
“It is important that Government gives charities the backing
they need to make the vision of a Big Society a reality, which is
why they must exempt charities from the cap on tax relief so
charities can play the biggest possible part in keeping vital
services running in these times of austerity.”
* ComRes surveyed 2044 GB adults online between 27 April and 29
April 2012. Data were weighted to be fully nationally
representative. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council
and abides by its rules. Full data tables are available at
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