Little charity from the Chancellor

Other than the usual headline grabbing promises of another £25m mainly for military charities, funded by proceeds from banking fines, and VAT reductions on sanitary products being ring fenced to benefit women’s charities, once again there was little mention of charities generally in the Chancellor’s autumn statement.

Housing

There are a number of proposals that are likely to have an impact for housing charities. The principal announcements concern the plan for 400,000 affordable housing units and starter homes by 2020-21 together with relaxations in the planning system to free up land for these. A three percentage point surcharge on SDLT rates for buy-to-let and second home properties from April 2016 will contribute to funding this.

There are also plans for a new help-to-buy equity loan scheme for London which will offer a 40 per cent equity loan rather than the usual 20 per cent loan.

As a follow up to the announcement of plans to extend the right-to-buy to tenants of housing associations there will be a pilot scheme to assess the impact.

Education

The main announcement affecting education is a commitment to maintain core funding in real terms over the course of the current parliament. There is also a commitment to end local authority’s role in running schools and for all state schools to become academies.

Regulation

Finally, the Charity Commission’s funding is to remain at its current level until 2020/21. This is an effective cut and will further reduce the Commission’s ability to robustly regulate charities.

If you would like some advice the topics raised in this article, please contact Nick Sladden or your usual RSM contact.