Charities will be under pressure if a cap is put on tax-free donations

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 May 2012

Jenni with her hands full of playfull badger cubs.

Jenni with her hands full of playfull badger cubs.

Archant

CHARITIES have hit out against a proposed law change which would cap tax-free charity donations, saying they fear people will stop giving money.

More than 1,000 charities have campaigned to be exempt from the Government’s cap on tax-free contributions, set at £50,000 - or 25 per cent of a person’s income - and due to be introduced in 2013.

Treasury ministers have acknowledged the charity tax cap will produce between £50-100million a year in additional tax revenue, but charities say it is also likely to equate to up to £500million a year in lost donations.

As one of the main charitable organisations in the town, Weston Hospicecare sees this legislation as a setback.

Gill Auden, CEO of the hospice, said: “Weston Hospicecare relies heavily on the generosity of our local community to ensure that we can continue our vital work year after year.

“Without their kind donations, we would struggle to provide care to everyone that needs it and the introduction of legislation that restricts our community’s ability or willingness to donate isn’t something we would welcome.

“As we are a smaller charity, a cap on tax relief is unlikely to affect us to the same extent as some of the larger charities or indeed other hospices in the UK but I do not think the move is in the best interests of the charitable sector as a whole.”

Secret World Wildlife Rescue centre, in East Huntspill, receives no government funding and founder Pauline Kidner said this legislation would put extra pressure on the organisation.

She said: “The capping will divert private funding of the third sector into the treasury purse. The government as a body does not fund Secret World so we cannot benefit from that decision.”

The charity is also trying to hit a target of £4.4million to fund a new animal hospital and education centre at a time when a quarter of British mammals are endangered.

Pauline said: “It is crucial for us to attract major donations. We will quite simply be unable to deliver the hospital plans without their support.

“There is concern that people will reduce their donations to charities as a result of tax capping or cease giving at all.

“But we hope this is not the case and that our loyal supporters will give because they understand and care not because they can benefit.”


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