The Catholic Union, Caritas Social Action Network, and Catholic Bishops in England and Wales have called for a higher rate of Gift Aid to be introduced in response to coronavirus.
In their letter to the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, the Catholic groups highlight the ‘perfect storm’ faced by many charities at this time – with falling revenue and greater demand for services.
An enhanced Gift Aid scheme would help charities benefit immediately.
Current Gift Aid scheme allows charities to claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated. The Catholic groups are calling for a temporary higher rate; the Treasury previously set Gift Aid at 28p for every £1 donated, while a campaign led by the Institute of Fundraising is calling for the rate to increase to 33p.
The idea of an enhanced Gift Aid scheme was raised in Parliament earlier this year by Catholic Union Vice-President, Mike Kane MP.
Catholic Union Head of Public Affairs, James Somerville-Meikle, commented: “In many cases, it has been charities and voluntary groups who have been on the frontline in responding to Covid-19.
“The Government has come up with money to help different sections of society. We’re now asking for a fair deal for charities. A change to the Gift Aid rate has been introduced before, and there has never been a better time to look again at it.”
The Bishops’ Conference has backed the call, saying it hopes the Government will seriously consider improving the Gift Aid scheme to support charities’ crucial work.”
Picture: A coin is dropped into a charity collection container. (Anthony Devlin/PA).