CHANCELLOR Jeremy Hunt has been urged to “encourage an elegant means of doing business with purpose” in the Budget tomorrow.

Sean Duffy, chief executive of social enterprise The Wise Group, warned on the eve of Mr Hunt’s first Budget that “emergency repairs, whether for individuals or governments, are always more costly”.

Mr Duffy said: “In response to the pandemic, organisations in Scotland collaborated to address the impact of the crisis on vulnerable households, highlighting the growing vulnerability of the country’s community ecosystem. However, these core systems also offer a vital tracing paper sketch of how to address the challenges faced by society. Collaboration and co-creation are essential for sustainable futures, where the expertise of relational mentors and communities feed directly into policy and action.

“Social enterprises contribute a net worth of £7 billion to Scotland’s economy, though some struggle to match the increased demand with income opportunities.

"This needs to be addressed in the Budget, so that purpose-filled and innovative enterprises can continue to deliver for Scotland by building community wealth and establishing new partnerships committed to a wellbeing-based economic recovery, making a profit to transform communities and lives across Scotland.

"Tomorrow the Chancellor should recognise the purpose-driven work of social enterprises by reversing the planned increase in the energy savings cap and keep it at £2,500, with a plan to reduce it further before next winter. The less people spend on energy bills, the more they can invest in themselves and communities.

“The government should phase out one-off payments in favour of longer-term financial and mentoring support to reduce energy bills while investing in social enterprises that can support the inactive back into work and participation in the economy.”

The Wise Group has joined Martin Aitken & Co, Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie, and The Business Insurance Bureau in sponsoring a Budget Briefing that will be hosted by The Herald on Thursday morning. It will be held at the office of The Herald at 194 Bath Street, Glasgow.