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Major review of sector's role announced

Major review of sector's role announced
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Major review of sector's role announced

Finance | Ian Allsop | 1 Apr 0206

The Treasury will undertake a major review of the future role of the third sector in social and economic regeneration, it was announced in last month's Budget. The review, overseen by a cross departmental ministerial group, will take a cross-cutting approach to the long-term priorities for the sector.

Campbell Robb (pictured), director of public policy at NCVO, will be seconded one day a week to play a leading advisory role in the review, which will be informed by the largest consultation ever undertaken with the third sector. It will be launched at a conference in May.

Additionally, an Office of Charity and Third Sector Finance will be established in the Treasury, linking its work across a range of third sector issues to provide strategic coordinated engagement. A third sector advisory panel, including young volunteers, representatives of third sector umbrella bodies and members of different faith communities will be established to advise the office

Elsewhere, CFDG welcomed the announcement of three measures introduced to protect current tax reliefs to charities and ensure it is only charitable activity that has access to them. Previously, there were anti-avoidance measures in place for close companies to prevent the donor receiving a large benefit from the charity in return for the donation and impose other restrictions that prevented the donation being repaid or being part of an arrangement to purchase property. From 1 April 2006 the anti-avoidance measures will be extended to apply to all companies thereby bringing the measures in line with close companies and individuals and introducing a level playing field.

The second measure provides a more direct restriction of tax reliefs where a charity incurs non charitable expenditure. The third measure will stop people using charities as private moneyboxes, reaping the tax reliefs and then taking the money out for private use. A spokesperson for CFDG said: "It is essential that the charity brand is protected and not tainted by association with tax avoidance schemes."

There will be a full analysis of the impact of Budget measure on charities in the May issue of Charity Finance.

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