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Charities boosted by wills decision; CHARITIES.

CHARITY bosses from the North East welcomed yesterday's announcement of tax breaks to boost donations.

George Osborne put charities in line for a pounds 550m boost from improved tax breaks on wills and small gifts.

There were, however, calls for the Government to do more to reverse the alarming trend of charities closing in the North East.

The inheritance tax rate will be cut by 10% for people who leave at least that proportion of their estate to good causes.

Gift Aid will also be "dramatically simplified" so charities can lodge donors' details online - and not at all for small gifts.

Mr Osborne said: "If you leave 10% or more of your estate to charity, then the Government will take 10% off your inheritance tax rate.

"Let's be clear. No beneficiaries will be better off. Just the charities, to the tune of pounds 300m. I want to make giving 10% of your legacy to charity the norm in our country."

The Chancellor said a new scheme would allow Gift Aid to be claimed on small donations without the need for filling in forms, up to a limit of pounds 5,000 per charity per year.

"That means Gift Aid on the contents of the collecting tin and the street bucket."

Jo Curry, of Voluntary Organisations'' Network North East welcomed the announcements.

But she added: "Our recent survey shows that 26% of North East charities are set to close in the next 12 months due to funding cuts.

"Today's measures will help charities in the future but won't stop the region losing its safety net. We need action now from the Government to get a handle on disproportionate local cuts before we lose vital services to vulnerable communities."

Archbishop Cranmer (@His_Grace) Who in their right mind would not chose to leave 10% of their wealth to charity rather than give it to the government in IHT?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 24, 2011
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