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Government policy and funding round-up: January 2024

An update on our influencing work, government policy and funding announcements.

To stay up to date with what’s happening in parliament and how it might impact charities, see our regular inside track round-up.

Charity sector election manifesto

Ahead of the general election, we’re working with the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) to develop a manifesto on behalf of the charity sector.

The manifesto will present a range of ways the next government can work with charities to make a positive difference.

We want to make sure the manifesto truly represents the charity and volunteering sector. We need to know what your priorities and challenges are, and what you think the sector should be asking for.

You can share your thoughts by filling in our simple online feedback form or emailing us at policy@ncvo.org.uk.

The feedback form closes on 16 February 2024, but the earlier you can send feedback the better.

We’re also hosting the following online events where you’ll have the opportunity to shape our manifesto.

Local government finance settlement 2024-2025

The government published the provisional local government finance settlement for 2024-2025 before Christmas, and consulted on it until earlier this month.

We submitted a joint consultation response with NAVCA to set out why central government must provide more funding for local public services.

We’re very concerned about the impact of insufficient local government funding on charities and voluntary organisations, and the people that you work with. Please email policy@ncvo.org.uk to tell us about your experiences.

Pre-employment checks for volunteers

The government has published a response to the consultation on pre-employment checks for volunteers.

The proposal put forward plans to remove the statutory requirement for a full employment history when appointing health and care volunteers. The response suggests that the government intends to amend regulations to remove the requirement for this check.

We’re pleased to see this change, as we believe this requirement posed an unnecessary barrier to volunteering. Organisations will still be able to ask for additional information from potential volunteers where necessary.

Thank you to all members and networks who contributed to our submission to the consultation.

Charity membership subscriptions

Charities have raised concerns about the digital markets, competition and consumers bill. There is uncertainty about how auto-renewing subscription measures will impact charities’ ability to claim Gift Aid on membership subscriptions.

Conservative peer Lord Mendoza has proposed adding wording to the bill with cross-party support. This would clarify that membership subscriptions which qualify for Gift Aid are not subject to the new rules.

The Lords committee stage will begin on 22 January.

Fundraising levy review

The Fundraising Regulator has announced plans to increase the yearly levy for charities.

The levy is set to increase between 20% and 50% depending on the amount the charity spends on fundraising. The voluntary levy has not increased since it was introduced in September 2016.

You can share your feedback on the proposed levy changes. The deadline to respond is 9 February 2024.

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