The Institute of Fundraising is concerned that the Small Charitable Donations Bill, which brings in the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, is an “overly complex” piece of legislation. It is urging ministers to amend it so that it is more likely to help small charities.
Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Fundraising, said: “The Government’s heart is in the right place on this but I am afraid the policy has been lost in translation.” He described the Bill as “too complex, bureaucratic and unfit for purpose.”
The Bill is scheduled to receive its Second Reading in the House of Commons on 4 September.
The Bill will enable each registered charity to claim a top-up equivalent to Gift Aid on up to £5,000 of small donations under £20. This would be £1,250 could be claimed without having Gift Aid declarations.
Peter Lewis is concerned that the eligibility criteria for the scheme, intended to combat fraud, is so strict that it will in practice help far fewer charities than those it was designed to help. For example, the requirement that charities must have been claiming Gift Aid for three years previously before they can benefit from the scheme is “likely to be a massive barrier to participation”.
Lewis added: “It’s important to combat fraud but I think the Government is in danger of throwing the baby out with the bath water here. There are other ways to combat fraud. The Government should stop, think again and keep it simple.”
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