It is anticipated that as lockdown restrictions ease, and particularly with children and young adults returning to education, cases of meningitis will start to rise.
By which, George Osborne indicated on Wednesday that there would be no surprising shift in policy away from the wintry predictions trailed in advance. And – a sugar tax on fizzy drinks aside – that was what was delivered. But what does all this mean for organisations seeking to use business to achieve social change, to impact on the communities they serve?
Well, first, we cannot ignore the warnings about the wider economy, and the uncertain climate created by the EU referendum. Whatever your view on Brexit, the impact of any “wobble” in the economy will be felt far and wide. The austerity programme continues, with £3.5bn of further savings planned in the current Parliament. Charities and others have already expressed concerns about the changes in entitlement criteria for Personal Independence Payments, which will impact significantly on those who lose benefit as a result. Our clients on the front line of service provision will be dealing with the direct impact. Other specific results of the further reductions are not known yet, but the general direction of travel for public services and unprotected government departments is clear.
On the specific measures, the changes to Corporation Tax will help businesses. The increase in small business rate relief should help smaller social enterprises and start-ups. Arts organisations will be pleased at the new corporation tax relief from April 2017 for museums and galleries, on the cost of temporary and touring exhibitions
Devolution remains firmly on the agenda, and the devolution of criminal justice powers to Greater Manchester may signal some interesting developments around devolution in this area generally. This will be of interest to all those involved in social enterprise solutions around desistance, and builds on recent government focus (including from David Cameron).
There was some encouragement for community development. Specific initiatives in the small print included regeneration based around rail station sites, with the HCA to work with Network Rail and local authorities to bring land forward for regeneration. The government also wants to explore “options for encouraging private investment in low cost home ownership”, and the establishment of “garden villages”, along with the promise of £60m to support community led housing, including through community land trusts, in “rural and coastal communities”. We have already seen in other support to community initiatives that a relatively small amount of support, at the right moment, can be key in unlocking progress.
And what wasn’t there? There was no announcement about increasing the investment threshold for Social Investment Tax Relief (which we still hope for this year), nor was there any movement on supporting community energy – both of which have been key concerns for clients. No mention was made of any change to mandatory rate business rate relief, which will please charities (for now).
So overall, as you were. Some amendments that will benefit business activity, but no fundamental change in direction. Much will depend on what happens over the coming months, not least in June…
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As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
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