In early May Seema Malhotra wrote to the Chancellor to ask for clarity on support for local charities with may struggling to get the support they need and to get that support quickly. She received the following response after over a month, but it does lay out some useful information. If you are a local charity in need of support at this time for ongoing services in the community please get in touch.
“Dear Seema Malhotra,
Thank you for your correspondence dated 4 May regarding support for charities. The Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK and I am sorry for the delay so far in replying. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has asked me to write to you directly. The Government has set out a £750 million package of support for charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis. Many charities and social enterprises will benefit from the existing measures announced to support employers and businesses. Under these measures, like other businesses, charities can defer their VAT bills and pay no business rates for their shops next year. All charities are eligible for the job retention scheme and the right answer for many charities will be to furlough their employees with the Government paying 80 per cent of wages. Charities are eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruptions Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loans Scheme. Registered charities are now exempt from the requirement that 50 per cent of the applicant’s income must be derived from its Trading Activity. However, we know that some charities are providing critical services and wider support to vulnerable people and communities during the pandemic. They have never been more needed than they are now. This new package of support will enable such organisations to continue providing essential services to those most in need. The package comprises three elements:
- £360 million allocated by central government to charities based on evidence of service need. This will include up to £200 million support for hospices, with the rest going to organisations like St John Ambulance and Citizens Advice as well as charities supporting vulnerable children, victims of domestic abuse, or disabled people.
- £370 million to support smaller, local charities working with vulnerable people. In England, this support will be provided through organisations like the National Lottery Community Fund (whose application process is now open). We will allocate £60 million of this funding through the Barnett formula so the devolved administrations are funded to provide similar support in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This will provide support for thousands of charities on the frontline of helping vulnerable people affected by Covid-19.
- The Government has pledged to match whatever the public decides to donate to the BBC Big Night In fundraising campaign with the same amount to further support charities. £20 million of this match-funding will go to the National Emergencies Trust appeal, and the rest will be split between Comic Relief and Children in Need. This funding package will help charities providing essential services to continue their operations and to weather the storm until we return to more normal times. Funding for charities is now starting to be disbursed and the most up to date information will be on Gov.uk. Our aim is to get funding to those in greatest need as soon as possible.”