Armed Forces charities, Thalidomide support, domestic abuse services, and cultural institutions are among the charity sectors pledged support in last Wednesday’s (3rd March 2021) Budget.
Armed Forces Charities
In the Budget, the government pledged to provide up to £475,000 to Armed Forces charities in 2021-22 to support the development of a digital and data strategy for the sector. This will aim to improve how charities work together and with government. It will also help to ensure that members of the Armed Forces community across the UK can access support when they need it.
There will also be an additional £10 million in 2021-22 to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust “to deliver charitable projects and initiatives across the UK that support veterans with mental health needs, ensuring that veterans can access the services and support that they deserve”.
The government also announced an additional £19 million towards tackling domestic abuse. This will include £15 million in 2021-22 across England and Wales “to increase funding for perpetrator programmes that work with offenders to reduce the risk of abuse continuing, and £4 million between 2021-22 and 2022-23 to trial a network of ‘Respite Rooms’ across England to provide specialist support for homeless women facing severe disadvantage”.
£300 million will be provided to extend the Culture Recovery Fund to support national and local cultural organisations in England as the sector recovers. £90 million will also be set aside to continue support for government-sponsored National Museums and cultural bodies in England.
Community Ownership Fund
A £150 million Community Ownership Fund was also announced that will allow communities across the UK to invest to protect the assets that matter most to them such as pubs, theatres, shops, or local sports clubs.
Community Football facilities
An additional £25million will go into community football facilities this coming year.
The government also pledged a lifetime commitment to continue the Thalidomide Health Grant in England when existing funding runs out in 2022-23, including an initial down payment of around £39 million, to ensure “that no-one supported by it has to worry about the future costs of their care”.
Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) and Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
Also in the Budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced that the government would be extending the operation of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) to April 2023. This enables investors to get 30% off the cost of their investment off their next income tax bill, and social enterprises, charities and community businesses have so far raised £15 million using the relief. The SAVE SITR campaign had asked for its #sunset clause’ to continue for a further five years.
CBILS to be replaced by a Recovery Loan Scheme
The government also announced that a new Recovery Loan Scheme would replace the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). 33 VCSE organisations including Big Society Capital, Social Investment Business, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Charity Bank had all written to the government ahead of the Budget with a number of asks for the replacement scheme.
The Budget stated:
“From 6 April 2021 the Recovery Loan Scheme will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% on eligible loans between £25,000 and £10 million to give them confidence in continuing to provide finance to UK businesses. The scheme will be open to all businesses, including those who have already received support under the existing COVID-19 guaranteed loan schemes.”
We’ll be carrying a response to the budget from charities in tomorrow’s web item.