The public and third sector are bracing themselves for more cuts and financial uncertainty after George Osborne announced major changes in the spring budget. We look at what impact this will have across all of the sectors that we work in.
Lindsey Hall, Chief executive of RIO noted that
“In the short term SMEs and businesses generally will enjoy lower business and corporation rates, as will successful social enterprises, but the long term effect of lower incomes for local authorities, coupled with more public sector cuts are likely to increase the polarisation between the haves and have nots, which isn't good to for anyone in the long run.”
Hall notes it was disappointing to see no mention in Osbourne’s speech of apprenticeships or skills – both of which are key to businesses success and a particular challenge in the South West, whilst the academies agenda posed unique problems to institutions in the area.
Jonathan Clitheroe, Head of Challenge Based Learning at RIO, said:
“The principles of MAT's (multi academy trusts) are generally good and we are supportive of the freedoms that becoming an academy brings. However, forcing all schools into it is not something we would openly support. There are significant time and legal costs and the danger is that forcing schools to become academies causes a real distraction from the things that matter.”
Here’s what our Commercial Director, Jon, had to say on business rates, corporation tax and the public and third sector:
“Support for small business in general in the budget is evident and therefore social enterprises will reap the rewards of lower corporation tax and the extension of business rate reductions. However, given the growing contribution of social enterprise to the economy and its triple bottom line impact on society, one might have hoped for further boosts to social investment and incentives for Local Authorities to speed up the process of devolution of public assets to more sustainable models of social enterprise operation”
Osborne revealed that measures to extend business rate relief to smaller business and shops will take £7bn out of the total business rate take in England over the next five years.
Jonathan Carr-West, the chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit thinktank, said:
“It’s not clear where these cuts will fall but experience suggests they will hit local government either directly or through the knock on effects of cuts to welfare benefits.
“This is a budget that will leave many in local government deeply anxious. Only two months ago, local government was offered the ‘certainty’ of a four-year funding settlement, but that certainty already looks illusory.”
Catherine Colebrook, chief economist at the Institute for Public Policy Research thinktank, said:
“These announcements on spending mean it will be even harder to maintain decent public services.”
Surplus for Purpose
Pioneering Plymouth-based social enterprise RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – is launching a brand new programme of support next month, drawing on its social enterprise expertise to help organisations find new ways to generate income and close the ever increasing budget gap.
As grant funding continues to shrink many public and third sector organisations are looking for new ways to do business and generate income. RIO’s ‘Surplus for Purpose’ programme has been developed specifically for forward thinking schools, local authorities, public and third sector organisations – this approach has already supported organisations working with RIO to secure £1million of new income in the last 12 months alone.
Jon Rolls, Commercial Director at RIO said
“In a climate of ever reducing budgets we want to equip staff, managers and leaders with the tools they need to identify opportunities, make a strong business case and tackle the pressing issue of income generation in a way that works with the culture and values of each organisation.
“Our unique and innovative approach allows us to help public and third sector organisations generate income, all whilst maintaining their authenticity as a provider of social value.”
‘Surplus for Purpose’ runs 1 day per month for four months starting on Thursday 21st April at Devonport Guildhall. For more information please visit http://bit.ly/RIOSfP
RIO is an IOEE approved enterprise academy, ‘Surplus for Purpose’ is Matrix accredited.
For more information and to secure your place please visit http://bit.ly/RIOSfP or contact RIO on 01752 395028.