Social Enterprise UK welcomes Treasury commitment to new tax relief for investment in social enterprises

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Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of SEUK, responds to the announcement by George Osborne MP to introduce tax incentives for social investment.

“We wholly welcome the Chancellor’s announcement in today’s Budget - growing the UK’s social investment market is crucial as traditional sources of finance continue to dwindle in the economic downturn. Capital needs to be raised in new ways to support social enterprises working to address the country’s social and green issues - levering in private investment is vital. 

“We’re delighted that The Treasury has listened to the social enterprise sector which came together to campaign on this, and look forward to working with Government on the detail in advance of the tax incentives being introduced. Access to finance is the biggest barrier for our members keen to grow their businesses and have a greater impact. 

“With support from The Treasury the UK’s social enterprise sector is much stronger, and can move forward with confidence that it is recognised for the economic and social value it delivers. Despite the recession social enterprises are outstripping mainstream businesses for confidence and growth - 58% of social enterprises grew their business last year compared to 28% of SMEs. 

“The UK is at the forefront of social investment and we’ve already got in place Big Society Capital, the world’s first social investment bank with £600million to lend. Our peers in other countries, particularly the United States, are very interested in the progress we’re making. 

“We recognise that social investment is not a panacea for all social enterprises, but it’s an important piece of the jigsaw. We also need to see full implementation of the Social Value Act to ensure government spending works as hard as it can for communities – social enterprises are well placed to win and deliver public sector contracts.” 

Social Enterprise UK chairs the Social Investment Forum, a collective voice to influence social investment policy with. Its members include the CDFA, Big Society Capital and Social Investment Business.

The Budget is available to download here.