Today's Budget represented a major step forward for the Better Banking coalition hosted by ACEVO, with a number of proposals to tackle financial exclusion, including guaranteed access to bank accounts, disclosure of where banks are lending, various initiatives to increase credit to small businesses, and consultation on regulatory reform and a bank levy to encourage investment in poorer communities.
Following ACEVO’s discussions with Treasury, CLG and the Cabinet Office, the Budget includes an announcement on the model for the Social Investment Bank, and a commitment to working more with the third sector on the Total Place pilots, including on social investment and social impact bonds. The final report on the Total Place pilots will be published tomorrow, and Irene Lucas (Director General at CLG) will be speaking on this at the ACEVO Spring Conference, also tomorrow. There are a few places left – email the firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending.
The Budget also announced:
- An extension of the Young Person’s Guarantee on employment and training
- Rises in child tax credits and support for older people
- Connsultatio on reducing the VAT barrier to partnerships between third sector organisations, which ACEVO and others have long campaigned for.
- Reforms allowing UK taxpaying donors to claim tax relief when giving to EU charities. We welcome this, but are working with the Treasury to minimise added bureaucracy for UK charities and ensure proposals to limit HMRC’s costs in processing Gift Aid claims do not reduce the scheme’s effectiveness.