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Policy News

News subjects related to UK legislation and guidance, with links to accompanying documents and details useful to ACO members and their clients.


  • Investing for Global Impact 2019 - Report cover graphics
    Investing for Global Impact 2019

    Barclays are collaborating with the Financial Times to conduct research that underpins Investing for Global Impact and also investigates the attitudes and investment activities of individuals and families who do not participate in impact investing or philanthropy.

  • Chartered Insurance Institute - Solving Women’s pension deficit to improve retirement outcomes for all
    Women’s state pension age now 65

    The state pension age for women has risen to 65 to match men for the first time, which has prompted warnings that the pace of equalisation has left some female retirees facing poverty.

  • 12 Days of giving - Graphics from the Ecclesiastical website
    12 Days of giving

    Each weekday from 6 to 21 December, 10 charities will win £1,000. That’s £120,000 to 120 charities in 12 days!

  • Bad Santa - Billy Bob Thornton takes a break in the Movie 'Bad Santa'
    Does Santa need a DBS check?

    It will soon be that time of year when organisations start building grottos and searching for Father Christmas and his elves, so we thought we would remind you about whether these roles can be DBS checked.

  • Fixed-odds betting terminals - Gambling machines installed in a UK bookmakers
    Gambling machine rules go ahead in April

    Just in case you missed it, the maximum bet on fixed-odds betting terminals will be cut from next April after the government bowed to pressure. Ministers had been facing a parliamentary defeat, with several Tory MPs joining opposition politicians to table amendments to the finance bill.

  • Computer Security - concept graphics
    Charity Digital Code of Practice

    The Charity Digital Code of Practice launched in mid-November is a new framework to help charities understand where they are at with digital, what they are doing well and what they could develop.

  • Food Bank - Volunteers sort donations ready for distribution
    13% increase in foodbank use

    Action still needed on Universal Credit wait, as new figures show a 13% increase in foodbank use in just six months compared to this time last year

  • Homeless - Homeless woman seated in one of london's tube station corridors
    Inquiry into effectiveness of welfare system

    The Commons Select Committee’s new inquiry, launched as the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty makes an investigative visit to the UK, will consider how effectively our welfare system works to protect against hardship and chronic deprivation.

  • Snakes and Ladders - A closeup photo of the classic game
    New online service for PIP appeals

    People can now appeal Personal Independence Payment decisions online after a limited trial revealed high levels of user satisfaction. More than 2,600 applications have been received by the service so far.

  • Annual Report on the Social Fund 2017-18 - Cover title and goldfish bowl with coins
    Annual Report on the Social Fund 2017-18

    In the last year the Social Fund has provided over £625.3 million to support families on low income with certain one-off or occasional expenses through Budgeting Loans, Sure Start Maternity Grants, Funeral Expenses Payments and Cold Weather Payments. Winter Fuel Payments continued to provide an additional £2 billion to support older people in meeting their heating costs.

  • Digital Training - Graphics with book blending into laptop
    £1m Digital Leadership Fund for charities

    The funding announced in mid-November will be used to expand, improve or rework existing training programmes to help charity leaders bolster their digital skills and understanding of how technology can improve their organisation.

  • Community group - Mixed age and race group
    DWP single departmental plan

    The plan outlines the department aim to “deliver a modern, fair and affordable welfare system that makes a positive difference to citizens’ lives by extending opportunity, strengthening personal responsibility and enabling fulfilment of personal potential.”

  • UK National Minimum Wage - Graphics for UK National Minimum Wage
    National Living Wage increases

    Future rates were announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Budget. The National Living Wage (NLW), the statutory minimum for workers aged 25 and over, will increase by 4.9% to £8.21 per hour. Rates for younger workers will also increase above inflation and average earnings. They will apply from 1st April 2019.

  • Local homes and businesses - Victorian homes and shop fronts in a state of decay
    London councils demands tax powers

    Tax-raising powers must be devolved to London boroughs to ease pressure on councils “already on the brink”, an umbrella group has urged. A 63% cut in core funding from government since 2010 alongside a population boom has put public services in the capital under “significant pressure”, according to London Councils.

  • Back in Credit? Universal Credit after Budget 2018 - Graphics from the Resolution Foundation report cover
    Back in Credit?

    The Budget 2018 work allowance increase means that the number of working families that gain from the switch to UC increases by 200,000 – from 2.2 million families previously to 2.4 million families now. Among working families with children, the number (1.5 million) expected to be better off under UC now matches the number (1.5 million) expected to be worse off.

  • Draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement - Graphics showing the word brexit in a jigsaw puzzle
    Draft Brexit Withdrawal Agreement

    The draft Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union, including a Protocol on Northern Ireland. It reflects agreement in principle between the UK and EU negotiating teams on the full legal text.

  • Good growth for cities - Graphics from the PWC web page for the report
    Good growth for cities

    Improving skills levels and new business formation have been the key long-term drivers of city growth since the financial crisis, according to the seventh annual Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities 2018 index that ranks cities on a combination of economic performance and quality of life.

  • Charity Commission Annual Return Service - Graphics used on the service website
    New questions in charity annual return

    The 2018 annual return includes new questions. The Charity commission says it recognises that for some charities the new questions will create additional work. Certain questions will be optional this year to give time to put the systems in place to collect the information easily, requiring less effort in future.