Friday, 3 May 2013

Breast Cancer Matters

From: Mia Rosenblatt
To: JONES, Graham
Subject: Breast Cancer Matters

Dear Mr Jones, Breast Cancer Campaign is committed to maintaining breast cancer research and charity-funded medical research and we know that medical research is an issue that people across the country care deeply about.

We are keen to ensure that the importance of charity funded medical research is not forgotten in the lead-up to the Comprehensive Spending Review 2015-16. We would therefore be delighted if you would support this aim by writing to the Chancellor to ask him to continue to support the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF) for the Spending Review period 2015-16 and also to improve access to the Gift Aid scheme, to enable charities to more easily access Gift Aid from small donations made in the workplace.

Below is information on the two specific schemes as well as an overview of the importance of research.

Why breast cancer research is so important
Breast cancer remains the UK’s most common cancer and one of the most difficult health issues affecting women, with over 50,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer and 12,000 people dying of the disease every year in the UK. Millions more live with the impact of the condition. It is through research that we will find the treatments of the future.

Why the Charity Research Support Fund is so important
There are many charities in the UK which, like Breast Cancer Campaign, are committed to funding medical research. Charities fund the direct costs of research, such as the scientists and laboratory supplies while the Government supports the indirect costs – the infrastructure costs like heating and lighting – through a fund known as the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF). Losing this Fund could be the equivalent of Breast Cancer Campaign cutting around a quarter of our annual research spend overnight. This partnership working between the Government and charities leverages additional funding for research and universities which means that considerably more investment in research is able to take place than would otherwise be the case and also brings major health and economic benefits. The CRSF also means that charities are able to fulfil their duty to their supporters to ensure that the funds they donate are spent directly on medical research and not university infrastructure.

How improvements in the Gift Aid scheme would help increase research funding
Gift Aid allows charities like Breast Cancer Campaign to claim back tax paid by individuals when they make donations. However, charities are missing out on money they should receive, particularly when it comes to small donations made in the workplace, because of bureaucracy. For example, although an annual Breast Cancer Campaign event raises almost £2 million a year from small donations made in the workplace, we estimate that we receive only around 10% of what we should be able to claim in Gift Aid from this event – and this will not be solved by the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme. This is money that would have been spent on research. We are therefore calling for the Treasury to look at how charities could more easily claim Gift Aid in this scenario, when donations are small and are made in the workplace.

You may receive emails from our campaigners over the coming weeks asking you to take similar action on their behalf. Please let me know if you would be interested in any additional information on the campaign or in meeting to discuss these issues in more detail. We would appreciate it if you could copy us in to any correspondence with the Treasury.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes
Mia Rosenblatt
Head of Policy and Campaigns
Breast Cancer Campaign
Clifton Centre, 110 Clifton St
London EC2A 4HT
DD: 020 7749 3730