Tuesday 10 October 2017
The Policy & Resources Committee is proposing a more targeted, effective and long-term approach to supporting the Bailiwick's charitable sector in its 2018 Budget, through the establishment of a social investment commission and revisions to the gift aid scheme for donations.
Following work carried out in collaboration with the Association of Guernsey Charities and the Guernsey Community Foundation, as part of the Charitable Giving Review, the Committee has published in the 2018 Budget its recommended next steps to support the charitable sector.
- A Bailiwick social investment commission will be established, along the lines proposed earlier this year by the Association of Guernsey Charities. The commission, to be operated by the States with third sector expertise, will administer funding to charities, to support the delivery of services to the community.
- Money currently paid out in tax relief to charities under the gift aid scheme will be made available to the commission to distribute in a targeted manner, which will ensure funding for charities whose services support objectives in the Policy & Resource Plan.
The commission will be established by 1 January 2019. To access funding charities will need to meet certain criteria and be able to show that effective governance standards are in place. Many charities already meet these standards - those that do not yet will receive advice on the steps that they need to take.
There will be no change to the current tax relief system in 2017 and 2018, and the States of Guernsey will engage with charities over the course of this year to ensure that when the change takes place there is minimum upheaval and plenty of advance notice.
Deputy Jane Stephens, the member of the Policy & Resources Committee who leads on social policy, said:
'The intention of these proposals is to meet the most important objective of the Third Sector Compact agreed by the Association of Guernsey Charities and the States of Guernsey - to foster and encourage development of the Third Sector.
'We believe this approach, when in place, will offer a structure to distribute public funds more fairly and equally than at present, and for the benefit of the whole community.
'The proposal has been put together with significant input from the Association of Guernsey Charities and the Policy & Resources Committee is grateful to them for their input and support. I would like to thank all charities and voluntary organisations for their contributions to the charitable giving review and their continued and much valued efforts in supporting our community.'
Peter Rose, the Vice-Chairman of the Association of Guernsey Charities, said:
'The Association of Guernsey Charities is very pleased to see that our proposal to establish a Bailiwick social investment commission is now to be developed so as to come in to effect from the beginning of January 2019. We see this as an important step by the States of Guernsey, which can only benefit the whole community, and also helps the States of Guernsey meet its Social Compact undertaking "to foster and encourage development of the third sector".
'We believe the social investment commission will be of significant help to the States of Guernsey in commissioning third sector organisations to deliver outcomes proposed by the Policy & Resource Plan effectively and efficiently. We look forward to guiding this important initiative through to successful implementation.
'We are also very pleased to see the implementation of a fairer Gift Aid regime. The proposal, which was discussed with us at some length ahead of this announcement, is different from the regime in the UK and Jersey, but meets the Policy & Resources Committee's objectives of appropriate targeting, and alignment with policy objectives that those indiscriminate schemes do not provide. Therefore, we welcome this development, which is good for sustainability of important charities which are an essential part of the social fabric of the Bailiwick. We look forward to working with the social investment commission to help develop an acceptable, fair, transparent, and administratively easy process for charities to claim the grant, which will come into effect from January 2019.'