So will Rob, our civil society minister, now stand up for the sector and insist on the fund going ahead? We have only a week before purdah. I’m hoping that Rob will set the record straight at our ACEVO and CAF hustings on Tuesday. He will certainly be asked what happened!
Whatever the good aspects of the budget - raising tax allowances, moves on savers, etc., it is deeply worrying for our sector what might happen on cuts. The IFS comment about a “rollercoaster of cuts to come” will have been greeted with dismay in our sector as we and our beneficiaries will undoubtedly bear the brunt.
In fact I was in the Commons after the Budget. I was having a late lunch with Nick Hurd MP, for a catch-up and an opportunity to reflect back on the 6 years he spent in the job of civil society minister or spokesman.
Often this subject is approached from a negative and unhelpful position. Us oldies are a burden. We soak up resources. We get too many free perks. So it’s good that today we get the report Decision Time: will the voluntary embrace the age of opportunity? It’s the final report of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing Ably led by Lynne Berry, former active ACEVO member when she ran WRVS.
As they say, “longer life expectancy is opening up new possibilities for individuals and communities”. It offers the potential of an age of opportunity in which the third sector could thrive. Worth reading. Worth taking up the challenge.
This is a good approach, and certainly for those of us in our seventh decade (me and Stuart Etherington to name but two!) this age of opportunity is something to be welcomed.