Wednesday, 21 March 2012

George; yes but....

I was really pleased to hear George announce the HMT review of social investment - the next decade could see an explosion in social finance, and to unleash it we are calling on the Chancellor to bring forward concrete proposals by the autumn statement. just after the announcement I had a lunch with a venture capitalist who is looking to a new fund to loan and take equity in social ventures. This is a real opportunity for our sector. But we are worried by the cap on tax reliefs, which could end up hurting the poor more than the rich if they reduce levels of donation to charity. That is an unintended consequence that must be avoided.So with colleagues we will be writing to George to get this sorted. In advance of the Giving Summit in May the Government cannot want an own goal that scuppers the whole Summit. So gift aid and charitable reliefs MUST be exempt. And economic recovery must not come at the expense of our natural and architectural heritage - many charities will be worried by the changes to the planning regime. There are the wider issues of the cuts in public spending that are still damaging the sector and Ncvo and ourselves were disappointed not to see a further tranche of funding for our Sector to cope with cuts. And as we approach the second anniversary of big society we see yet more damage to our members and their ability to support their beneficiaries. There is a growing divide between richer and poorer communities , and between the marginalised in society. There is a growing disparity in wealth and jobs between North and South. And the budget did little to offer support to tackle youth unemployment.

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