VitalSpark: Coalition Blog

Posted: 03 June 2010, in Blog

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is in the news and the middle classes are beating a path to their accountants and lawyers.

I have an idea. It is based on a world view that people are innately good. Often they just need a chance to show this side of themselves. In addition, folk also need to be asked for their support as people are often just too preoccupied with the day to day stuff of life to think about higher goals and self actualisation.

So, the government should offer a CGT break to folk who realise their capital assets during the life of this government on the basis that a social enterprise gets a bit of their filthy lucre. We’ll probably have to focus on social enterprises with charitable status – we have to keep it simple for politicians and the tax man.

I can also picture lots of older folk with significant assets being rather unimaginative with disbursements in their wills as well. They won’t even know they could support social enterprises – largely because we don’t publicise our efforts enough and we are pretty lousy at generating donations from private estates. It is significant however, that at least one very famous Scottish social enterprise started its business off with a loan from the money a supporter received from a relative’s estate. Do you know what one it is?

C’mon people – in the current climate we should be competing for and maximising all revenue and investment opportunities. If we don’t act quickly, it will still be cats, dogs, lifeboats and hospices etc so we need to get a move on. We also need to educate lawyers about the social enterprise opportunities for the elderly to think about when making provisions in their wills.

Perhaps we should also ask a social enterprise to design and implement a marketing campaign to attract the grey pound. Now and then, I like to read Lawrence’s stuff in the SENSCOT bulletin and as I get older I’m beginning to see what he is on about, particularly in relation to health and the simple life. ( I hurdle some of the stuff about booze and the search for meaning). Folk like him who are retired and who “get” social enterprise should be involved in this campaign.

Here then is a task for you all. Get 20 of your favourite older folk to visit your favourite social enterprise and ask them for some ideas, help or support – you might be genuinely surprised – especially if you can explain your social mission in plain English.

NB. You’ll need a lot of tea and biscuits.