ACEVO’s CEO Sir Stephen Bubb comments on Budget 2014

Commenting on the Budget, ACEVO CEO Sir Stephen Bubb said

“The big story of what was billed as a ‘Good News Budget’ is that there was little good news for charities and social enterprises. The Treasury appears determined to treat the voluntary sector on a case by case basis. It continues to apply little strategic thought or planning to our future and the future of the beneficiaries we serve.”

“There was little for the sector to welcome that we did not already know about. The setting of the social investment tax relief is welcome and will provide 345,000 euros of tax advantaged investment over three years to participating organisations, but that – alongside a bundle of rehashed announcements – cannot be the Government’s offer to a sector that employs 750,000 people and for whom 20m people volunteer each year.

“Recent ACEVO research showed that more than two thirds of charities surveyed provide entry level jobs and 93 per cent provide paid employment to non graduates. The sector spends £37bn each year and our research showed that 70 per cent was spent in the local community. Any political party with a credible story on the economy needs to understand that voluntary organisations and social enterprises are repositories of growth – as well as good – at the grass roots.

We trust that the Chancellor is keeping his powder dry for a more substantial announcement in the coming weeks. ACEVO has called for a Community Recovery and Sustainability fund to help organisations at risk from repeated local government cuts. The Government must move quickly on this and demonstrate that it is focused, not on pet projects, but on the bigger picture.”

Commenting on the welfare cap and changes to pensions, Sir Stephen Bubb said:

“The welfare cap of £119bn increasing in line with inflation risks creating a system that is too inflexible to meet the needs of those in poverty. The Chancellor’s focus on elderly people within our community with pension and savings reforms is welcome and understandable, but it must not come at the expense of other vulnerable groups.”

Commenting on the provision of early intervention funding for under 5s, Sir Stephen said:

“We welcome the provision of early intervention funding for under 5s. As ACEVO has argued, a shift towards intelligent early intervention across our public services is long overdue. The Treasury must now consider how it can fund similar initiatives in other public service areas that could benefit from more preventative approaches, including health and social care.”

Read Third Sector Magazine’s coverage of the Budget here.

Read ACEVO’s full representation prior to the 2014 Budget here:

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