Charities set to lose out in Gift Aid changes

CHURCHES and charities could soon become strapped for cash when Gift Aid rules change next month.

CHURCHES and charities could soon become strapped for cash when Gift Aid rules change next month.

When someone makes a donation and chooses to use Gift Aid it means the charity can claim back the tax on it.

Currently, for every £1 that is donated another 28p can be claimed, but from April this will be reduced to 25p.

Weston Hospicecare, based in Uphill, claims Gift Aid on a high number of donations it receives.


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By the end of the current financial year of 2007/08 the hospice will have claimed £37,000 in Gift Aid.

With the changes this would be reduced to £33,035, a difference of nearly £4,000.

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From the Midnight Beach Walk, held in September last year, the charity received £13,000 extra on top of the money raised by the event. This would have only been around £11,600 with the new rates.

Fund-raising and communications manager Penny Beare said: "We try to encourage a lot of people to use Gift Aid when they make donations.

"The changes to the scheme will have a big affect on us and along with the current credit crunch it could result in the amount being donated reducing quite significantly."

One vicar in Weston has also said the changes could result in his church, Our Lady of Lourdes in Baytree Road, Milton, losing out on around £1,000 every year.

Reverend Martin Queenan said: "Although a 3p difference does not sound very much this could have a big affect on the funding for the church over 12 months.

"I am trying to encourage parishioners to review the amount they give in their current donations and am trying to persuade more members to use Gift Aid to replace the money we will be losing out on.

"The scheme is very easy to use and very effective. I hope more people will think about using it."

Rev Gwynne Brindley, of Wedmore Methodist Church, said: "Even for a small church like ours this could lose us several hundred pounds.

"What we hope could happen is that people will help to make up the short fall by increasing donations.

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