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Economic Environment

  • Charities are battling with an increased demand for their services despite being hit by multiple financial pressures, according to a new survey of charity leaders.

  • Charity Finance Group (CFG) and NCVO have stressed that Government must go further than the additional £30m for the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme and exempt all charities from the planned VAT imposition on alterations to listed buildings. Removing the zero rating will bring huge costs to charities operating in listed buildings, yet the scheme is only available for churches and other listed places of worship, with no equivalent fund in place to compensate other affected charities.

  • Sir John Major's speech at the 18th annual Hinton lecture on 10 November 2015.

  • Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of NCVO:

    We know that charities deliver effective and efficient public services. Even though public service spending cuts are less than expected, if current trends continue, cuts to voluntary sector delivery will be deeper than cuts overall. It's time for a major review of how public service markets work so that the expertise and skills of charities can be better used to benefit the public.

  • Implications for charities and community groups from the Brexit referendum include political uncertainty, slow progress on government policy change, and potential financial challenges, according to a new briefing from NCVO.

  • Karl Wilding, director of public policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

    'Our members will be pleased to see that they can look forward to further growth in the economy. For many of them, the public spending environment will continue to be tough for the foreseeable future, with inevitable consequences for the communities they support.

  • Commenting on the Conservative Party manifesto, Ruth Driscoll, head of policy and public services at NCVO, said:

    'It is positive that the manifesto reflects a continuing commitment to the principles of voluntarism and putting power in the hands of communities. Nevertheless, under the past government this desire has been hampered by public spending settlements which have been very challenging for many charities.

  • Commenting on the Labour party general election manifesto published today, Nick Davies, public services manager at NCVO, said:

    'We're very pleased to see support for public service providers paying the Living Wage. In our manifesto we said organisations delivering public services ought to be able to pay their staff the Living Wage.

  • Oliver Henman, head of partnerships and international at NCVO, said:

    ‘The Work Programme isn’t working well for anyone. Prime contractors have had their income hit because referrals to the programme have been lower than expected. They have squeezed their subcontractors, many of which are specialist voluntary organisations, whose income is now a quarter lower than expected.

  • Responding to the NAO report on government grants published today, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations noted that:

    • Grants to charities are a tiny proportion of the total grant funding the NAO report examines. The NAO report covers £292bn of government grants, of which £61bn goes to recipients outside the public sector. NCVO’s analysis shows UK charities received £2.56bn in government grant income in 2011/12.
    • There are clear advantages to grant funding – grants to voluntary organisations are a simple and efficient way for government to meet its objectives - avoiding the bureaucracy and costs of contracting
    • Grants from government are a rapidly declining part of the funding mix for charities – with contracts to deliver services now significantly more common than grants.
  • The National Council for Voluntary Organisations today announced the launch of a major review into the future of the voluntary sector’s finances.

  • A snapshot poll of senior staff at NCVO members suggests many are planning to decrease their expenditure.

    47% of those polled said their organisation planned to decrease its expenditure in the next 12 months, with 34% planning to increase it. 19% said they would make no change.

  • Public funding for charities could be 12% lower by 2017/18, according to new analysis from NCVO. The forecast suggests public funding for the sector could be £1.7bn lower in 2017/18 than it was in 2010/11, the latest year for which data is available.

  • Charities have not seen the recovery experienced by the economy overall, a new report today shows (PDF, 830kb).

    While the rest of the economy has grown, the charity sector's income has flat-lined since 2009.

    On current projections, charities will be faced with a £4.6bn shortfall in income by 2018/19 - the result of cuts to government contract and grant income, tepid growth in donations from the public, and inflation.

  • The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the Third Sector Research Centre (TSRC) are to create a data resource that will improve the evidence base for the voluntary sector, particularly in relation to its finances and resources over the past decade.

  • UK charities lost over £1.3billion in income from government as spending cuts kicked in, new figures published today show.

  • The next government must prioritise preventative spending in order to address social problems and save money in the long term, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations said today.

  • Sir Stuart Etherington’s speech on local infrastructure, delivered at the Big Assist Beacon awards in Manchester on Monday 5 October 2015.

    First of all can I thank you Alex for the opportunity to co-host this evening’s event and also for the great work GMCVO is doing in Manchester as the opportunities and challenges of devolution grow in the region.

  • Responding to today’s spending review, Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said:

    ‘We all knew that budget cuts were inevitable today. Now more than ever it’s essential that local government is sensitive about how it finds its savings. Councils will need to have meaningful discussions with the voluntary sector about how they can support their communities.

  • Charities are continuing to battle with financial pressures whilst still working to deliver services to the people who need them, according to a new survey of charity leaders.

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