NCVO's release this year was very quick and while I would be the last one to accuse them of failing to thoroughly go through the mountain of budget documentation that follow the Chancellor's oratory before making their comments, I would also be the first. We must up our game on this next year or we will be a laughing stock, (though I would point out that I did issue a one line appraisal on Twitter straight away).
The detail in the budget was unpromising for umbrellas. Dress it up how you want, we got practically nothing we asked for except the usual promises of "further consultation" and "research". Don't spend time asking people what they want for chrissakes, just get on and do it and hope it works. Some may see the acknowledgement of the need for yet more chat about the umbrella bank as progress but frankly it smacks of a token placatory gesture to keep me quiet for a bit. Yeah, like that's going to happen.
We did get a two bob hardship fund to support umbrella manufacturers who go to the wall but it's a drop in a very big ocean compared to the sums being bandied around elsewhere and it's probably funding diverted from an existing pledge anyway.Still, one silver lining in that one of the countless papers I have lovingly prepared for James has borne fruit which is well cool. The government is setting up a fund to support employment of young people in all industries, not just umbrella making, and James particularly praised me, me me, me....(oh, and the rest of the team at BUBB), and my persistence in badgering him to read my ideas despite the legal restrictions around me approaching him.