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Last updated November 2015

Trusts & Foundations concerned about Welfare Reform

ACO joined up with the Association of Charitable Foundations to run a packed meeting on welfare reform. Members heard from Edward Graham from Child Poverty Action Group who said:

  • increasing numbers of disabled people will not be getting a disability/incapacity benefit and some will not be entitled to anything;
  • a baby born to a low-income family from April 2011 is around £1,500 worse off compared to a sibling born in April 2010;
  • in April 2012 over 200,000 working couples lose entitlement to tax credits worth up to £4k a year;
  • Council tax replaced by local rebate schemes from April 2013;
  • discretionary social fund abolished April 2013
  • Universal Credit introduced October 2013, with migration of existing claimants by October 2017 with transitional protection.


Chris Goulden from Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that:

  • Universal Credit by itself will take 1m adults and children out of poverty
  • Other cuts to benefits more than undermine this
  • Especially rebasing benefits to CPI
  • Income poverty forecast to rise by 2020

Members told us that they were unclear about what actions will be necessary until detailed guidance has been issued, hopefully in the autumn of this year. An important
example for ACO members is uncertainty about the charity disregard.

The changes are piling pressure on grant givers with concerns about increased costs of assessing applications and administering grants to individuals. One organisation’s trustees had questioned the value of a programme where costs of administration outweighed the actual grant. Another had looked at sharing costs by commissioning another grant maker to deliver a grants programme on their behalf.