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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.

Use public spending for social good, demand charities

This news post is about 10 years old

Third sector bodies are calling on MSPs to create strong public spending laws that will help create a fairer society

Leading third sector groups have called for “strong legislation” to determine how around £9bn is spent on public sector goods and services each year.

The call comes as MSPs vote on the final stage of the procurement reform (Scotland) bill on Tuesday 13 May.

They are calling for ministers to consider 10 key priorities put forward by third sector groups and wider civil society

Organisations including Christian Aid, Stop Climate Chaos and the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund, say that while the Scottish Government has stated its commitment to procurement for social good, it is in danger of losing the opportunity to create strong laws to back that up.

The group has come up with 10 key priorities to revolutionise public spending, including implementing the living wage, cracking down on tax-dodging and promoting human rights. However, they claim the Scottish Government has not listened and is set to pass a law tomorrow that doesn't go far enough.

The groups say guidance on sustainable and ethical procurement criteria has the potential to help Scotland’s public bodies make a positive difference to “local communities and the wider world.”

“It is not too late for the Scottish Government to show real ambition and leadership, and accept amendments which could make the procurement bill live up to its original promise of sustainability rather than simply reform,” the charities have said in a joint statement.

The groups highlighted the bill provides an opportunity to make progress in important policy areas, including reinforcing the need for action to meet our climate emission reduction targets.

The statement is signed by Tom Ballantine, chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland; Philippa Bonella, head of communications and education at the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund; John Downie, director of public affairs at the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations; Kathy Galloway, head of Christian Aid Scotland; Colin Howden, director of Transform Scotland; Jamie Livingstone, head of Oxfam Scotland; Gordon Maloney, NUS Scotland president; Martin Rhodes, director of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum; Pete Ritchie, executive director of Nourish Scotland; Grahame Smith, general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress; and Dave Watson, Unison Scottish organiser.