The Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) recently submitted a proposal that would allow large businesses to make charitable donations in exchange for tax breaks. While the proposal is sound and positive in many ways, it may not prove to have its desired effect.
The proposal is much more complicated than it sounds, and it differs from similar propositions in the past. This proposal involves the donation of time, as opposed to the singular donation of funds.
The CSJ introduced the idea that corporations should allow their employees to volunteer outside of the company. The company would simultaneously pay into a charity account created in the employee’s name, donating the equivalent of minimum wage per hours volunteered.
Once the employee has completed their volunteer hours, they can then decide which charity the donated money in their account goes to. The cash, for example, does not automatically fund the volunteering organization.
While this new proposition has a lot of benefits, it is coming up short in some areas. Many large firms and corporations, for example, are already offering up to five days of volunteer leave, which does not match the purpose of the initiative.
There are also similar tax relief programs out there that are more appealing to businesses. The Charities Aid Foundation makes charity bank accounts available for the same purposes, while also claiming the relevant gift aid.
A new report discussing the pros and cons of this new initiative has yet to be published, even within the website of the CSJ. This lack of publicity suggests that the support behind the proposition may not be as strong as it once was. Keep an eye on the Centre for Social Justice for more updates.