The Spring Budget 2021 was published today and we’ve analysed the key implications for the voluntary sector.
Extension of the Social Investment Tax Relief
In today’s Budget 2021, the government announced that there would be an extension of the Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR). The SITR aims to support social enterprises looking for external finance by providing tax incentives to encourage businesses and individuals to invest in them. In the 2018 Budget, the government had announced that they would be reviewing the SITR and there were concerns that the SITR might not be extended this year, as it had originally been set to end in April 2021. The Budget announced the extension of the tax relief until April 2023. The extension of the SITR will bring some hope of future investment to struggling social enterprises.
Funding to Support Veterans with Mental Health Needs
The budget announced an additional £10million of funding to support veterans with mental health needs, much of which is expected to go towards voluntary organisations offering services to support veterans.
Extension of the Job Retention Scheme
Many across the voluntary sector will be relieved to hear that the job retention scheme was extended by five months and is now set to finish in September 2021. The voluntary sector has been reliant on the scheme, with an estimated fifth of charity staff having been furloughed.
Funding to Support Domestic Abuse Survivors
£19million of funding was announced in the budget to tackle domestic abuse. Domestic abuse services have been crucial during the pandemic, with the number of domestic abuse cases soaring. An extra £4million has also been announced to support homeless women who have suffered domestic abuse to access ‘Respite Rooms’.
Grants of up to £6000 for businesses to support their reopening were announced, and charities operating shops and retail services could be eligible to apply.
Community Ownership Fund
A new £150 million community ownership fund was announced, which will offer match-funding of up to £250,000 for community groups and individuals to buy local assets such as pubs and post offices.