This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.





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.

Third sector must have a central role in new government

This news post is over 7 years old
 

The dramatic and unexpected result of the UK general election has not stopped charities from urging the new government to work to boost the third sector

Charities ought to occupy a central place in the new government’s agenda with the creation of a positive climate that enables them to support people in the greatest need in our society.

This is the message from national third sector support bodies following the dramatic and unexpected results of yesterday’s general election, which will see the Conservative Party create a majority government at Westminster.

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), third sector finance body Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) have all released statements urging the new UK government to work with the third sector.

John Low

Charities can be a key partner of government, working together in order to deliver successful outcomes for British people

John Low

In Scotland, where the electorate voted overwhelmingly for the Scottish National Party, the call was for full implementation of Smith Commission recommendations and more powers in relation to welfare, employability and equalities.

John Downie, director of public affairs at SCVO, said: “We’ve been very clear all along that we want the next UK government to stop the austerity agenda, focus on tackling growing poverty and inequality and replace welfare cuts with a fairer system which supports people instead of punishing them with sanctions which are ruining people’s lives.

“A first step towards this in Scotland would be for the Smith Commission powers to be delivered along with the full devolution of powers relating to welfare, employability and equalities. We also want the roll out of Universal Credit stopped in Scotland and for renewed Work Programme contracts to be cancelled immediately.”

Further south, NCVO highlighted the lobbying act, which was introduced last year and which many fear dampened third sector campaigning in the run up to the election.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO, also said that the government’s public service reform agenda would require working with the charity sector to enable it to take on more public services.

“In the run up to today’s election result, NCVO has consistently argued that charities and voluntary groups can make a bigger difference in dealing with the issues we face as a society and in creating opportunities for all,” he said.

“There are substantial challenges ahead: public service reform, a fragile recovery and calls for democratic renewal. Charities and voluntary groups are part of the solution to these problems, and we look forward to working with the new government to realise the sector's potential.

“We also look forward to working with the new government on the issues that relate specifically to charities and volunteering, including a sensible resolution to the problems brought about by the lobbying act, a shift of gear on our involvement in public services, taking forward the draft protection of charities bill, and implementing manifesto proposals for increasing employee volunteering."

Mary Taylor

With an unexpectedly early resolution to the election outcome, we look forward to seeing early movement to devolve these powers as soon as possible, particularly in relation to the administrative devolution of Universal Credit

Mary Taylor

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said it was committed to working constructively with the government to strengthen civil society and made a strong call for the government to consider how to create an environment that will enable the sector to develop.

He said: "A strong charity sector benefits us all, and that we consistently rank as one of the most charitable nations in the world is testament to the generosity of Britons. However in order to strengthen the impact that our charities can make, government must continue to create a positive climate in which charities can operate.

"Charities can be a key partner of government, working together in order to deliver successful outcomes for British people. It is particularly important that we work in partnership to support those in greatest need of support, and advocate for the weak and marginalised in society.”

The SFHA said it hoped to see devolution of Universal Credit to Scotland as soon as possible.

Mary Taylor, SFHA chief executive, said: “The SFHA manifesto for this election focussed on the powers which could be devolved by Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.

“With an unexpectedly early resolution to the election outcome, we look forward to seeing early movement to devolve these powers as soon as possible, particularly in relation to the administrative devolution of Universal Credit.”

TFN’s own general election results debate, which took place at 11am this morning, raised issues around the future of Britain as a nation following the SNP landslide in Scotland, the role of the third sector in picking up the pieces of austerity, the impact of a Conservative majority government on environmental issues, including fracking, and the part civil society will play in a split United Kingdom. The debate can still be read on our website.

 

Comments

Be the first to comment.