DSC Policy Update - week commencing 8 March 2021

DSC Researcher, Rebecca Eddington, rounds up the policy news from around the sector.

Lack of support for charities from government

Across the sector, charities are feeling angry and disappointed about the lack of support announced for charities in the 2021 Budget. The #NeverMoreNeeded campaign opened their reaction with:

‘This government has today made the deliberate choice not to listen to the collective voices of over 1000 civil society organisations who wrote to the Prime Minister and Chancellor asking for emergency support.’

Jay Kennedy’s summary

Our Director of Research and Policy, Jay Kennedy summarised the key points from the Budget in this write up, Budget 2021: what a difference a year makes…?, where he compares the government to space robots ‘programmed only to speak the language of business and macro-economics’ and describes the gaping black hole in social sector policy. There are a few areas where specific support has been allocated such as: domestic abuse funding; veterans’ mental health; arts, sports, and culture; and rough sleeping. Jay also expands on the initiatives aimed at businesses that could help some charities and initiatives where they have been excluded so be sure to read the full write up, if you have not already.

More reactions to the budget

If you want to read some reactions to the Budget from organisations across the sector, this Civil Society article has complied the opinions of many charity leaders from infrastructure organisations to frontline charities.  Rachael Maskell, the shadow minister for civil society, also declared that the Budget was ‘a huge disappointment to thousands of charities who have stepped up to play a pivotal role throughout this pandemic.’

Government U-turn on coronavirus business grants

One success for the sector last week was the government’s U-turn on coronavirus business grants caps from a maximum of €1m (from old state aid rules) to 1.9m per charity and in certain circumstances up to £9 million. This follows months of campaigning led by the Charity Retail Association and the Charity Tax Group.