A Budget of Booby Traps and Sugared Pills

Commenting on the 2016 budget, ACEVO CEO Sir Stephen Bubb said:

‘The budget was not so much jam tomorrow as problems down the line. The Chancellor has asked the Paymaster General to find 3.5billion worth of cuts. This will inevitably impact the social care and local government sectors. Ultimately, despite extra funding for rough sleeping, cuts to the most vulnerable including disabled people means a weaker social fabric overall. The northern powerhouse risks being accompanied by a northern poorhouse.’

On the decision to implement a ‘sugar tax’ on the soft drinks industry and on the charity campaigning that led to it:

‘I warmly welcome this measure. Charities have been campaigning about this and the Government has listened. Indeed, this victory demonstrates the value of charity campaigning to sound policy making. In light of this, it is a matter of regret that the new set of grant agreements announced as part of the Government’s annual banking/LIBOR fines disbursement will now have anti advocacy gagging clauses contained within them. The Government must rethink this harmful measure as a matter of urgency.’

On the decision to not reduce rate of business rate relief or devolve rates to local councils:

‘We are pleased that the Government listened to the sector on business rate reliefs. This could potentially have placed up to 1.5billion worth of income at hazard at a time when the sector and its beneficiaries cannot afford it. The reliefs still may be localised as the devolution discussion continues and we will have to continue to make this case for our beneficiaries’ welfare. But this victory is a crumb of comfort in an otherwise bleak picture.’

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