Charitable Donations: Higher Education
Shabana Mahmood (Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills); Birmingham, Ladywood, Labour)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to introduce fiscal measures to encourage philanthropic giving to higher education institutions in England.
Danny Alexander (The Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, Liberal Democrat)
The Government's three-year matched funding scheme for voluntary giving has supported the higher education sector in diversifying its income and generate additional funding from charitable giving. During the three years of this scheme, around £580 million of eligible gifts have gone to England's universities and colleges. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will be reviewing progress in philanthropic giving and will make recommendations to Government, the sector and donors on addressing any further challenges in this area. Professor Shirley Pearce (Vice Chancellor and President of Loughborough university) will chair the review which is scheduled to start in March and report in July 2012.
Many higher education institutions in England are charities, and as such can already claim Gift Aid on donations received. As charities, higher education institutions will also benefit from a range of measures announced at Budget 2011 to encourage charitable giving and to reduce administrative burdens on charities when claiming tax reliefs. These measures included a reduced rate of inheritance tax for estates leaving 10% or more to charity.
All tax reliefs are kept under review and any decisions on new measures may be taken at fiscal events.