8 March 2017

Responding to the 2017 Spring Budget, Peter Holbrook Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said:

What we saw today was a relatively safe budget featuring some welcome steps but one which won’t deliver the radical change the economy needs.

We welcome the discretionary business rates relief fund which local authorities must use to support those businesses which offer the most sustainable economic, environmental and social value. There are also welcome measures to reduce the burden on small co-operatives.

The discount on rates for pubs will be welcomed by communities looking to set up community pubs and the action to fund broadband for local groups is vital to create the digital infrastructure required to ensure more balanced regional growth.

Overall though we’ve got used to seeing no references to social enterprise in the Budget. But to see no mention of social investment, of even inclusive business or shared society, of mutuals and barely a mention of charities is a worrying sign that the government may have completely lost sight of the value of the social economy.

The extra money for social care shows that often government eventually responds belatedly to what communities know. We hope it’s not too late before the government comes to realise the power and potential of social enterprise to both create opportunities and reduce inequalities.