Has George Osborne been giving to charities in his final pre-election budget? The answer I think is a qualified yes. Certainly no big giveaway but there is a planned increase in the amount that can be donated under the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS).
The government has not seen the widespread take up of the scheme that it had hoped and therefore plans to introduce legislation to extend the maximum annual donation amount which can be claimed through the scheme from £5,000 to £8,000 from April 2016.
Many would argue that this still does not go far enough in encouraging take up of the scheme since a charity still has to have a two year Gift Aid history before becoming eligible. Similarly it only applies to cash payments and this too has come in for criticism.