THIRD SECTOR KICKED INTO THE LONG GRASS IN PRE-BUDGET REPORT

December 9, 2009 12:00 AM

Commenting on today's Pre-Budget Report, Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat Charities Spokesperson, said:

"This pre-budget report has kicked the third sector well and truly into the long grass.

"Charities are looking for solid commitments and deadlines from the government about future action to support the sector. But all we have been given are vague assurances and platitudes.

"The Social Investment Wholesale Bank is good news, but there is no indication of when it might be up and running or whether the government will launch the bank with alternative funds before the Reclaim Fund is ready.

"Progress on reforming Gift Aid is as sluggish as ever. Even though the research into redirecting Gift Aid higher-rate relief from donors to charities is due next month, we will have to wait much longer for the government to assess them before any actual action is taken.

"There is no mention of setting up integrated charity giving accounts alongside normal bank accounts, streamlining the multitude of public funding sources for charities or creating a level playing field for the third sector to effectively compete with private companies for public sector contracts.

"This all sounds like a government that has run out of ideas for charities and is parking the sector until after the election."

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