Third Sector at Large: Will spanking the Mandarin catch on - or is it too taxing?

Bubb's blog, 'Giftfade' and a dog's dinner are on our minds this week

'Your Country Needs You'
'Your Country Needs You'

- Acevo chief Sir Stephen Bubb has come up with an intriguing new proposal for the chastisement of senior civil servants who make policy misjudgements. In his blog complaining about the Budget's "torpedo" of imposing a cap on tax reliefs for giving, he declares: "Whichever Mandarin is responsible needs to be taken out and spanked." In public, on Horse Guards Parade, no doubt. Bubbles goes on to appeal to the charities minister to step in and steer the Treasury back to the paths of righteousness: "Nick Hurd, your country needs you now!" he thunders.

* A small indication of whether Hurd will succeed (or even try) came on Budget day itself, when the Chancellor's appearance was preceded by Cabinet Office questions. There was Hurd on the front bench beside David Cameron, basking in the limelight, delivering suave bons mots from the despatch box. Minutes later, when the big speech began, Hurd was back with the plebs, standing in the crush near the door of the chamber. There's a message there for everyone: always give way to the all-mighty Treasury.

* It wasn't long before the twitterati got going on a possible name for the new restriction on tax relief on giving. Three of the first contenders were the Generosity Tax, the Big Society Tax and the Philanthropy Tax. Slightly more left-field was GiftFade. Further suggestions on a postcard, please - or, if you insist, on that new-fangled social media stuff.

* Not even the presence of a former Charity Commission press officer in the Treasury's media team prevented the Chancellor from his gaffe on giving. Life at the commission was hard enough, but the poor mite says she was working 12 hours a day, seven days a week for the fortnight before the Budget.

* At Large was gobsmacked last year to hear that elderly dogs in the care of the National Animal Welfare Trust have big kennels, central heating, sofas and TVs. That's now been trumped by the Dogs Trust, which has built a rehoming centre in Shrewsbury that has won the highest possible environmental rating for its solar heating, rainwater harvesting and green roof. Cheaper to run, says the trust, and "a more comfortable home for 140 dogs and puppies". Whatever happened to the unheated packing case in the yard with a chain and a water bowl?

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