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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Further commitments on sector needed from government, SCVO warns

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The membership organisation warned that the warm words of the budget had been heard before from the government. 

Scottish Government ministers have been urged to hold further talks with third sector representatives following concerns raised around Scotland’s budget for 2023/24. 

On Thursday Deputy First Minister John Swinney outlined the government’s spending plans for next year, including a commitment to multi-year funding for voluntary organisations. 

He said: “This Budget strengthens the social contract between the Scottish Government and every citizen of Scotland for the wider benefit of society.”

The move was welcomed by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) - national membership organisation for the voluntary sector. 

However, concerns were raised about the lack of transparency and recognition relating to funding for the vital public services provided by third sector groups across the country. 

During Thursday’s statement, the sector was mentioned twice in passing, and not at all in relation to investment. 

SCVO pointed to a lack of knowledge of how much funding the sector will receive as a result. 

SCVO chief executive Anna Fowlie, said: “I welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to Fairer Funding Principles in this week’s budget - including a commitment to multi-year funding.

“Sadly, we have heard the promises of this budget before. We need to see multi-year agreements in practice across ministerial portfolios, and they need to include funding uplifts in line with inflation - both of which are essential to sustaining the vital public services voluntary organisations provide. 

“A budget that has child poverty, net zero and public services at its heart should recognise the key contribution of the voluntary sector to those agendas and to Scottish society, and therefore have the voluntary sector at its heart. This budget doesn’t do that. 

“We look forward to working with ministers to ensure they follow up these commitments with meaningful change for the sector, which underlines the crucial role we play in communities across Scotland.”