Budget 2021: Was it kind to charities?
Whilst the government reminded the sector that it provided £750m of support last year to assist frontline charities through the coronavirus pandemic, unfortunately, there were no real sector specific announcements today to help plug the funding gap.
Key points for charities from Budget 2021
- Furlough is to be extended until the end of September at 80% of salary up to £2,500, with employers being asked to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September.
- Business grants are to be replaced by Restart Grants of up to £6k from April, however, it is unclear how these interact with State Aid limits .
- The 100% business rate holiday is extended until June, however, most charities with shops and attractions already receive 80% relief.
- No changes to the rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT.
- Corporation tax rates to increase in April 2023 to 25% for companies making profits over £250k, however, most charities and their subsidiaries do not pay Corporation Tax.
- VAT registration threshold to be frozen at £85k until 2024.
Key funds announced or re-announced in Budget 2021
Cultural Recovery Fund
A £300m boost has been given to the previously announced £1.57m Cultural Recovery Fund. Applications are currently closed to the fund, however, more information can be found here.
National Museums and cultural bodies
Government sponsored National museums and cultural bodies will receive £90m. No further information can be found on this, so we are unsure if this will trickle down to local museums and cultural bodies.
Sport Recovery Package
The government have promised £300m for a Sports Recovery Package. This will help fund spectator sport in England, sporting clubs and governing bodies. More information will be released in the coming weeks.
Community Ownership Fund
A new £150m fund to enable community groups to bid for up to £250k matched funding to help them buy local assets to run as community owned businesses e.g. pubs, theatres, post offices and sports clubs. In exceptional cases up to £1m of matched funding will be available to help establish a community owned sports club or buy a sports ground at risk of loss.
Levelling Up Fund
Announced in November 2020, the government have now released a prospectus for the £4.8bn Levelling Up Fund. This fund is for local infrastructure with the aim to invest in transportation, regeneration and culture. Applications to the fund will be made by councils by mid June 2021, with the expectation that MPs of an area will back one bid they see as a priority.
As the bidding authorities should consult local stakeholders (including community representatives, environmental representatives, universities and colleges), charities may well be asked to get involved.