WCVA joins a coalition of eleven charities calling on the new Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase the Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) for volunteer drivers.
The cost-of-living crisis continues to put pressure on communities, voluntary organisations and volunteers alike. In light of record high fuel prices, we are asking Nadhim Zahawi MP, the newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer, to increase the maximum level at which volunteer drivers can be reimbursed in his Autumn Budget.
Volunteer drivers are currently being reimbursed in accordance with an Approved Milage Allowance Payment (AMAP) at maximum of 45p per mile – a rate last reviewed in 2012. This rate no longer fully covers the expenses incurred by volunteer drivers, putting them, voluntary organisations, and service users in a difficult position.
Failure to increase the AMAP rate to match current fuel prices means organisations will continue to have very limited options to address the discrepancy. While they can reimburse volunteer drivers at a higher rate, this involves additional paperwork and has tax as well as benefits entitlement implications for the volunteer. These implications, in effect, will impact the same volunteers who most likely will stop volunteering due to financial pressures.
Volunteering becoming out of reach for any individual is a terrible outcome and a source of great concern in the sector. Aside from the issues of accessibility and fairness, we will also see a knock-on effect on the capacity and reach of charities relying on volunteer drivers, which will be felt by service users. An issue, which will be felt strongly in Wales.
Judith Stone, Assistant Director of Volunteering at WCVA, said:
‘At a time of great hardship for many, we are deeply concerned seeing outdated AMAP rates creating a barrier to volunteering.
‘Volunteer drivers offer their time and skill for free, often creating a lifeline for the most vulnerable, especially in geographically isolated and rural communities. Rising fuel costs should be covered by a revised AMAP rate which ensures volunteers are not out of pocket.’
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Our campaign partners at Community Transport Association (CTA) have written a blog outlining the different ways you can support this campaign. We encourage you to:
- complete CTA’s impact survey
- reach out to Members of Westminster Parliament
- share why this change is important to you on social media