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Public Funding: Charities and Voluntary Organisations

Volume 633: debated on Thursday 21 December 2017

10. What steps her Department is taking to increase the number of public funding sources available to charities and voluntary organisations.

Merry Christmas, all. (903086)

That warms my heart—thank you.

Charities and voluntary organisations are receiving funding from Government through a number of programmes, including LIBOR fines, the tampon tax and, for youth organisations, the youth investment fund and the iwill fund in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund.

Charities are set to lose a massive £250 million a year in EU funding, but the Government appear to have no plans to replace it. Will the Minister give charities some Christmas cheer and ensure that no charity loses out post-Brexit?

I am discussing with the whole charity sector how we can look more closely at the EU funding that the hon. Gentleman refers to and what we will focus on in future. Those discussions have been taking place for some time, and we are already working with organisations, including in the voluntary sector, on how we will set up the framework.

The Government have promised to repay the remaining £425 million borrowed from the national lottery to build the Olympic stadium, but at the current rate of repayment they will not pay it back for 30 years. Charities are struggling to house the homeless and feed the hungry this Christmas, and they need that money now. Will the Minister spread a little more Christmas cheer, back the Big Lottery Refund campaign and commit to repaying the money they owe during this Parliament?

We are committed to repaying the funds that the hon. Gentleman refers to, but we are working hard to ensure that our charities across all sectors are well funded. He will be aware that we will be launching a civil society strategy in the new year, which will work across all Departments in Whitehall to ensure that the sector is well recognised and that we continue to fund it so that we get to the heart of the social issues that we face. Furthermore, we will shortly look at what to do with the next tranche of dormant assets, which will go to support many good causes such as those he refers to.