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Samples of articles

As an example of the information that LMSC subscribers receive we have listed 3 sample articles, chosen at random, from our recent archive.

Charitable giving helpsheet

HMRC has published helpsheet HS342, which sets out details of the four tax reliefs available for giving to charity in 2017, namely Gift Aid, gifts of shares or securities, gifts of real property and Payroll Giving. Charities may wish to remind potential donors of the benefits that exist for making charitable donations.

The helpsheet also directs users to a step-by-step guide on Tax relief when you donate to a charity as well as linking to the relevant online forms, phone numbers and addresses for advice on Self Assessment.

Article information

  • Date: 11 April 2017 (Posted: 11 April 2017)

Of additional interest:

    Social Exclusion: Prime Minister's JRF Lecture

    In a speech to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) on 5 September, the Prime Minister gave the third of his lectures in the series, Our Nation's Future.

    The speech can be found in full at the link below.  The link will also provide a link to the broadcast of the lecture, which focused on social exclusion and the importance of early intervention and changed methods of working. During the lecture Tony Blair emphasised the need for service delivery to include "the expertise and creativity of the voluntary sector, charities and social enterprise",

    After stating that some aspects of social exclusion are deeply intractable, with the most socially excluded being very hard to reach, with multiple problems often passed down the generations, Tony Blair emphasised that it is not just material assistance that is needed, but "proper structured help, where a due sense of responsibility may be part of the mix, and at a stage early enough to make a difference".

    Tony Blair drew attention to the forthcoming Social Exclusion Action Plan, which Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Social Exclusion, will launch on Monday, 11 September. The plan will focus on four groups which have been hard to reach, and associated issues:

    ◦ looked-after children (ie in care)

    ◦ families with complex problems

    ◦ teenage pregnancies

    ◦ mental health patients.

    As well as expanding on the range of problems such groups face, Tony Blair spoke about the record of government in each area.

    Before speaking about working methods and changes needed, Tony Blair noted that in social exclusion the people in need of services may not want to engage with the services or know how to, whereas universal services are predicated on the assumption that all people want them and know how to get them.

    The Prime Minister's main points about working priorities and methods - including working with the third sector - are quoted in full below.

    ◦ "Agencies need incentives to co-operate. "We need to liberate professionals to work ingeniously, strip away the rules, conventions and hierarchies that prevent them doing what is best in each individual case."

    ◦ "We need working across traditional silos of bureaucracy and government. And means of delivering that help and support which use the expertise and creativity of the voluntary sector, charities and social enterprise as much as the conventional system of the State."

    ◦ "This new approach involves complex and variegated decision-making. We shouldn't therefore introduce it in one go, across the board. We should test it in critical areas, where specific problems exist and build our own clear evidence base for future work."

    The Social Exclusion Action Plan will be guided by five principles: early intervention, systematically identifying what works, better co-ordination of the many separate agencies, personal rights and responsibilities and intolerance of poor performance.

    Spreading good practice will encouraged and incentivised, with a government hallmark for programmes that have proved to be effective. Commissioning of services will be "strengthened", Local Authority Area Agreements improved and how to improve the sharing of information between relevant agencies will be investigated.

    On the breaking-down of barriers between agencies and the enhancement of flexibility, Tony Blair drew attention to the pooling of budgets and individual budgets, as pioneered in social care. He indicated that individual budget pilots would be extended. He also touched on the sharing of data.

    Tony Blair signalled other forthcoming initiatives. The Local Government White Paper later this year will set out "a serious drive to root out poor performance". This autumn's Green Paper covering at-risk children will promote an expansion of budget-holding lead profes

    Article information

    • Date: 07 September 2006 (Posted: 07 September 2006)

    Of additional interest:

    Council tax on long-term empty properties

    The Welsh Government is consulting on extending local government powers to apply varying levels of council tax to empty properties.  It is proposed that Welsh Ministers grant local authorities the power to levy council tax beyond the full standard council tax on homes that are deemed to have been empty for a long period of time.  The proposal would give authorities more freedom to implement policies that are best suited to local circumstances and which could assist most with local housing problems.  The proposal arises from the Housing White Paper which, inter alia, addresses the issue of empty properties and argues that varying levels of council tax on empty properties would help to bring them back into use.

    The consultation proposes that Welsh Ministers grant local authorities the power to levy council tax beyond the full standard council tax on homes that are deemed to have been empty for a long period of time: the necessary legislation would be included in the Housing Bill to be introduced in the Autumn of 2013.  The Housing White Paper suggested one year as a reasonable period for a property to remain empty before it could be subject to a higher rate of council tax. Ministers argue that the proposal would give authorities more freedom to implement policies that are best suited to local circumstances and which could assist most with local housing problems. Perhaps surprisingly, the Government does not intend that the provision should apply to second homes “… as they are generally in better condition than empty homes and they also contribute to the tourism economy of Wales”.

    So far as charities are concerned, the consultation seems to suggest that the current exemption will not be touched. The consultation paper notes that “There are already a number of exemptions that apply to certain groups of taxpayers and to empty homes which will continue to apply”, and includes in the list of these at Annex A, “Unoccupied dwellings owned by a charity (up to six months)”.

    The consultation will run for a period of three months and responses are requested by 20 October 2012.  Responses can be made using the online form, by e-mail to [email protected] or by post to Gemma Smith, Local Government Finance and Public Service Performance Division, Welsh Government, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3NQ.

    Article information

    • Date: 03 August 2012 (Posted: 03 August 2012)

    Of additional interest:

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