Tuesday 7 April 2009

Budget ideas and visits from Americans

My Head of Media tells me that in the last week we have had 533 visits to our new recession support website from people in the States . So perhaps our recent visit stirred something up . And I have been getting a lot of traffic about my Blogs, especially about the exciting new centre at the White House .

Although it does take time I think the Blog is a great communications tool . Unexpurgated and unfiltered . Sometimes a bit too revealing . Sometimes a bit too edgy . Sometimes provoking .But it works as a means of communicating issues and appears to be widely read . And having a spoof blog too , though the mystery blogger has gone quiet for a time?

We have just sent off our ideas to the Chancellor for the upcoming Budget . We focus on ;

* the need for gift aid reform ( especially higher rate taxpayers )
* VAT reforms
* A Social Investment Bank; high time for action on this from government,
* a major job creation programme as unemployment rises to 3m.
* action on Icelandic bank deposit losses , ( the recent Treasury select Committee recommendations are very pertinent and timely . ).Along with colleagues in the sector we have lobbied hard on this for our members who have suffered losses.

And we stress strongly the need for a major works programme to deliver more jobs and full time volunteering. my member and Trustee , the great and prolific Tom Flood , CEO of BTCV, tells me they have signed the deal with DWP it deliver a major programme for volunteering in the light of the recession . But he is still pushing for a " GREEN ARMY " of 500,000 to tackle the problems of sustainability in our communities. government needs to think big . they manage that for the bank bail out . How about for the jobless?
Listening to Hazel Blears MP on Question Time I do wonder if there is a collective denial that the unemployment situation is not going to get so much worse and rise to over 3 m . That would mean 1 in 10 Britons out of work . We cannot let this happen . And only a big programme of job creation , where the sector plays a massive role , can help avoid this.

I write to Kevin Brennan MP and Stuart Etherington to suggest we discuss this more at the next recession Summit on June 2nd.


Unknown said...


RE: Icelandic Banks

Don't you think charities should have been more careful? Everyone knows you don't put all your eggs in one basket and charities should be even more aware about the security of their money. Why should they be at the front of the queue.

Sir Stephen Bubb said...

I dont think any of the charities concerned did that . But they were following advice that they seek the best returns and diversify . These banks were triple A rated , and indeed recommended in a third sector finance mag not long before the crash . Most charities do not have in house teams to advise on investments . they rely on external advisors .
And as we now know there is evidence that Governmnet knew and were warned about a potential collapse in advance of the problem , as shown by Channel 4 uncovering Icelandic Governmnet documents. But charities were not warned. charites ought to be at the front of the queue because they work with and helop the needieast . local councils have bigger budgets andnresreves and are better able to manage such a loss . We cannot .