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Voluntary Sector Funding

Volume 542: debated on Wednesday 21 March 2012

Most voluntary sector organisations receive no public funding at all, but those that do cannot be immune from the need to reduce public spending. That is why we are taking active steps to help the most vulnerable organisations, to encourage more giving and social investment, and to create new opportunities to deliver more public services.

Given that the most recent report by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations shows that, according to the Government’s own figures, charities are facing cuts of £1.2 billion in public money per year, does the Minister agree that the Government need to do more to support the voluntary sector in constituencies such as mine, Feltham and Heston, as we turn around what the NCVO has described as a “toxic mix of circumstances” affecting our charities?

As I have said, almost 80% of charities receive no money from the state, but we have made it clear that those that do cannot be immune from cuts. The Labour leader himself has made it clear that he could not have protected them from cuts at all. We should remind ourselves that the cuts are necessary because of the actions of the last Labour Government. This Government are taking action to protect the most vulnerable organisations, create new sources of funding and open up new opportunities for charities and social enterprises to deliver public services. All they hear from the Labour party are empty words.