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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Charity Tax Relief Cap Backfires On Big Society

Monday, 16 April 2012

SNP URGE TREASURY RETHINK OVER PROPOSALS HARMFUL TO THIRD SECTOR

As the UK Government announce plans for a consultation over Budget plans to limit the tax relief on charitable donations, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Eilidh Whiteford MP warned that the move would be deeply damaging for the third sector and undermined the Prime Minister’s ‘Big Society’ commitment.

Calling for the Chancellor to rethink his plans, Dr Whiteford warned that, in the current financial climate, the move will have an impact on charities, universities and cultural organisations who all rely on philanthropic giving to fund some of their activities.

Dr Whiteford said:

“We hear a lot of talk from the Prime Minister about the UK Government’s commitment to the ‘Big Society’, but plans for a charity tax relief cap will be hugely damaging for the third sector.

“The Treasury must step back from this measure which will be hugely detrimental to charitable giving.

“While the wealthiest should not be allowed to avoid their tax obligations, these proposals have the potential to be extremely harmful to the charity sector. UK Ministers do not seem to have made any assessment of how this will impact on charities.

“It is difficult enough, in the current financial climate, for Scottish charities and third sector organisations without a further reduction in what is an important source of funding.

“Indeed, these proposals will have an impact beyond the third sector with philanthropic giving an increasingly important element in funding Scottish universities.

“What a contrast between the UK Government position and the approach of the Scottish Government who recognise the valuable contribution charities make to Scottish society and is supporting the work of the charitable sector in Scotland.”

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