Ahead of the fiscal event or ‘mini-budget’ on Friday 23 September, CTA has submitted an Autumn Budget Representation to HM Treasury setting out our proposal for an inflationary uplift to the current Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) rate for volunteer and paid drivers, which is archaic, untenable and no longer fit for purpose.
Since Spring 2022, we have been leading a coalition of 11 intermediary organisations and charities from across the UK’s voluntary sector who have proudly joined our campaign for a Fair Deal for Volunteers. We have presented to and discussed our proposal with senior officials at HM Treasury, as well as elected politicians of all parties and the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.
We believe that rising inflation and record fuel prices are damaging Community Transport operators across the UK. Many are struggling to deliver essential services. Our research with CTA members suggests that:
65% report lower levels of volunteer recruitment or retention in the last 6 months
32% have been forced to cut back services
65% have been forced to increase prices or raise fares
High motoring costs are putting essential volunteer-run transport services at risk. Inflation threatens to make volunteering unaffordable for many. If some Community Transport and other charitable schemes cannot continue, it will mean:
Lower levels of COVID-19 and seasonal flu vaccinations this winter, especially among the most at-risk groups
Higher levels of missed GP and hospital appointments, worsening patient outcomes, extending NHS backlogs/waiting times and increasing costs for taxpayers
Intensified demand for public services, from the NHS and social care to local authorities and Job Centres
Reduced autonomy and mobility for older and disabled people, exacerbating existing injustices and inequalities
Fewer younger people with access to school, college, university or work
Increased transport poverty and inequality across the UK, especially in rural, remote and deprived communities
However, this scenario is avoidable. An inflationary uplift to the current AMAP rate of 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles – which has remained static since 2012 – would:
Protect vital charitable services at no cost to the Exchequer
Deliver a fair deal for volunteers who were the backbone of the UK’s extraordinary and emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Keep volunteering accessible and affordable for all, especially in the rural and deprived communities most severely impacted by high fuel prices and the cost of living crisis, and for those in receipt of social security
Mitigate the impact of the cost of living crisis on low-paid workers in key sectors of the economy, such as social care
Reduce the administrative and financial burden on employees and volunteers and remove the need for many to complete self-assessment tax returns
Deliver an effective tax cut for some employees and volunteers who currently, or would in future, receive more than the AMAP rate
Avoid unnecessary new red tape for charities and community groups and simplify the workings of the UK’s tax system
Encourage employees and volunteers to share transport more frequently, reducing congestion and carbon emissions
Signal the UK Government’s commitment to volunteers, the voluntary sector and Levelling Up
You can download our Autumn Budget Representation here.
If you would like to find out more, or talk to us about our campaign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to our coalition partners for their support for our campaign – Communities 1st, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA), National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), Royal Voluntary Service, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Scottish Volunteering Forum, Volunteering Matters, Volunteer Now, Volunteer Scotland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA).
Community Transport Association UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Cardiff no. 1985361 Registered office: 12 Hilton Street M1 1JF. Registered as a charity in England and Wales no. 1002222. Charity Registered in Scotland No. SC038518.