Cuts Watch #292: The cuts and charities
In an interview on the Politics Show yesterday Dame Suzi Leather (chair of the Charity Commission) warned the Prime Minister that the cuts could “pull the rug” from under his own ambitions to create a Big Society. She pointed out that charities run important services for local authorities and rely on them for funding; with councils facing a 26 per cent reduction in central government funding over the next four years, there is a risk that cutting their funding will be seen as an easier option.
She feared that charities could lose £5 billion and said that the Chancellor’s £100 million “transition fund” to help at risk charities and voluntary groups was “an order of magnitude” smaller. An editorial in Third Sector points out that the Office for Civil Society’s £470 million for voluntary and charitable organisations over the next four years compares with £500 million over the past three years:
£166m a year has fallen to £118m. Whatever the adjustments will be in OCS functions, there is a big loss there.
The Charity Commission itself is to lose 27 per cent of its funding over the next four years. Dame Suzi called this settlement “extremely challenging” and PCS has warned that cuts of this severity will leave the organisation unable to function.