Charity leaders tell Chancellor their priorities for the Comprehensive Spending Revie

Against a background of increased demand for services with little or no slack to provide extra services, charity leaders have delivered their wish list to George Osborne in advance of the CSR next month. A number of leaders have called for the abolition of the Office for Civil Society while most report a need for development grant funding.

Charity leaders’ network ACEVO undertook its Autumn survey of members during September. CEO’s across the country have called for a Living Wage Transition Fund. 38 per cent of respondents said they agreed with the living wage but that it will make their job harder to do financially. Only 17 per cent said the transition would be a seamless affair for them.

An overwhelming majority of charity leaders reported that the main deficiency in funding portfolios is development grants. They have called for a Community Excellence and Innovation Fund to assist in business development, bid preparation in particular, and new technology skills. This fund will also enable the development of governance and finance, seen as particularly important in the wake of the collapse of Kids Company.

Meanwhile, 75% of CEOs called for the Chancellor to ring fence health and social care and 60% for education to be protected.

Not one CEO felt that the third sector should fund any Charity Commission shortfall through a compulsory levy, arguing that the Commission’s funding should stay the same or be increased.

Around a quarter of charity leaders called for the abolition of the Office for Civil Society while over a third called for its reform with a new mandate.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Director of Public Policy Asheem Singh said: ‘Charity leaders are extending the hand of partnership to government to help deliver their priorities. A local transformation fund will help charities play a full role in building regional powerhouses across the UK. A community excellence fund will help unleash the power of the sector to tackle stubborn social problems. Balance these offers with a commitment to reducing red tape and unnecessary charges and the Government will have made a good start on building crucial bridges with the third sector.’

The full survey and findings can be found here

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