“Ahead of the budget ACEVO joined with a number of other membership and infrastructure bodies, collectively representing tens of thousands of charities across England and Wales to write to the Chancellor asking not for handouts but for long-term strategic investment in civil society that would build thriving, resilient communities. But, as has come to be expected, the role of charities in the budget was reduced to welcome but somewhat scattergun announcements about specific pots of money for specific causes.
“Civil Society has so much more to offer, not least a connection with the many people across the country still struggling financially, despite the Chancellor’s declaration that ‘austerity is coming to an end.’ The tone of the budget felt out of touch with a sector whose leaders are telling us about rising demands for services and that many of the people they work with do not see the economic up-turn that has been much discussed by government.
“There was progress for activists and charities campaigning to reduce single use plastics and stop the harm caused by universal credit. While neither announcement went as far as many would like, the Chancellor’s announcements demonstrate the importance of charity campaigning in generating real positive social change.
“Much like the civil society strategy, the budget set out a more positive vision from government than in recent years, but the substance is yet to be seen.”