If ever there was going to be a political U-Turn from the Budget it was likely to be the Charity Tax if any.
Charities have already suffered from the withdrawal of £billions in funding and let us not forget, we are not talking about the church jumble sale charity to repair the church roof here, but charitable organisations that carry out contracts for services that the government has outsourced. Things like Social Housing, Assisting the Disabled, Child Advocacy, Age Concern, the Citizens Advice Bureaux and the like.
Its one thing to reduce the funding, but to then cut the funding further by removing the tax incentive for those wealthy enough to act as a vital life line, in their philanthropic ways is sheer criminal.
Elderly Care in the UK is a disgrace and a ticking time bomb in an aging population. The BabyP scandal and others like it as a result of an overstretched Care System could have had a better chance of being avoided if the funding for Child Advocacy wasn’t cut so much. And in respect of Citizens Advice Bureaux, the last line in vital advice, its services have all but disappeared.
Scale of the Problem
As reported recently, a recent study of charities in England and Wales showed that two-thirds were cutting frontline services and three out of four were making staff redundant. Furthermore, 1 in 10 said they even risked closing down altogether in 2013.
At no other time in recent history, has charitable funding been more vital and it’s an issue that has united the Electorate and one that has got the Government performing yet another U-Turn.
Whilst the government has already slashed £billions from the charitable sector’s funding, the tax it stands to lose as a result of the Charity Tax U-Turn is said to be costing the Treasury between £50million and £100million a year, or in other words, less than 5% of the money its saved from the charitable sector.
So it has already made vast savings in the funding to the charitable sector, why twist the knife so to speak, especially when all of those philanthropists are also potential party donors? Perhaps that or taking the attention away from the Jeremy Hunt issue was the motivation?
More U-Turns Please George
Personally I don’t think the U-Turns are a result of George not having a clue which direction he is taking the Budget. The economy I don’t think he has a clue on at all, but the money coming into the Treasury and that which is going out is perhaps within his grasp?
I am normally very cynical when it comes to politicians but I would like to think that George is testing his policies out in difficult economic times, and seeing which policies (in respect of his Budget) we can live with, and which we cant possibly accept. If this was the case, then perhaps there is hope for UK politics. Perhaps UK politics can be revived and the decline in voter numbers stemmed? Perhaps they are listening to the voters, and not just getting in for their 4 years and closing their ears in the process.
And one last thing George, how about a U-turn on: Fuel Duty?