Caron Bradshaw, CEO of Charity Finance Group, comments:
“COVID 19 has shone a light on how important our sector is within the fabric of society, both during times of crisis and strategically in addressing long term social issues. Until Government recognises our role in achieving its ambitions it will continue to miss opportunities to deliver real change.
“The ‘Levelling up’ £4bn investment is welcome and we are keen to see how it will be distributed, how quickly and to whom but there is an important context this is set against which includes the depth and breadth of local authority cuts over the past decade, and the immediate rising demand in unmet needs caused by both the pandemic and the potential future consequences of a WTO Brexit. We would hope and expect to see a quick injection of resources into those communities that have been hit hardest, rather than a bidding war.
“While the UK Shared Prosperity Fund made an appearance, full details will only emerge in the spring, a good few months after our departure from the EU which is unfortunate.
“Although the cut to international aid was expected, it will hit on-the-ground humanitarian efforts overseas hard. Being frank – this it is a short-sighted move at a time when health has become a global emergency.
“I am no longer surprised at the absence of reference to charities and social enterprise from successive Chancellors in anything other than in pet projects and giveaways. However, we will continue to press Government to acknowledge of the public good charities deliver and the central importance of funding social infrastructure, not just physical infrastructure. Including by reference to the Charity Five-Point Plan which is a roadmap for real action.
The government needs to shift its thinking away from the short term gimmicks to strategic investment if it is ever to succeed at ‘levelling up’ and see Britain ‘build back better’. It can no longer afford to ignore vital non-profit organisations who work on the ground, here in the UK and overseas.”
Read our policy teams' Spending Review charity briefing.
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