On 27 October the Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled his Autumn Budget and Spending Review which contained a number of measures of potential interest to the charity sector, including:
- From 1 April 2022 the National Living Wage (for those aged 23 and over) and National Minimum
Wage (for those of at least school leaving age) is set to increase to the levels shown in the table below, relevant for those charities that employ staff based upon these levels.
|23 and over||21 to 22||18 to 20||Under 18||Apprentice|
|From 1 April 2022||£9.50||£9.18||£6.83||£4.81||£4.81|
- It was confirmed that the existing business rates relief available for charities is set to continue for the time being, which is worth over £2bn a year to the sector. A number of reforms to business rates are planned though including new reliefs for the retail, hospitality and leisure industries that have been affected by the pandemic, relief for properties where qualifying improvements have been made, freezing the business rates multiplier for another year and increasing the frequency of business rates revaluations.
- The Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief is to be extended for a further two years until 31
March 2024, and the value of this relief along with the Theatre Tax Relief and Orchestra Tax Relief will temporarily increase to support cultural organisations’ recovery from the pandemic.
- The September CPI inflation figure of 3.1% will be used as the basis for updating the National Insurance thresholds for the 2022/23 tax year.
- Fuel duty will be frozen for the 2022/23 tax year.
- Consultation will take place on simplifying the VAT treatment of fund management fees.
The Chancellor also announced an increase in funding to support museums, cultural and sporting bodies that will potentially be of benefit to certain organisations in the sector.
Other changes were announced that seek to provide support to the lower paid, such as an end to the public sector pay freeze and changes to the taper rate used to calculate Universal Credit paid to working claimants. Despite this many observers are predicting that the moves do not go far enough, with increasing inflation likely to see many being effectively worse off than before, and those charities that seek to offer help to those experiencing hardship may well see an increase in the demand for their services over the coming months.