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Update on our work to tackle public services delivery crisis

In November 2023 we delivered a letter to the chancellor, co-signed by over 1,400 charities and voluntary organisations, calling for urgent action to address chronic underfunding of public services delivered by charities.

We were clear – if the issue isn’t addressed, charities will close, vital services will be cut, and communities will be failed.

Treasury response

Last week we received a response from HM Treasury. In it they outlined the support charities have been offered to improve their energy efficiency and deliver support for people struggling with the cost of living. And they reiterated how the Contract Readiness Fund will upskill charities to bid for contracts.

We continue to be grateful for these measures. However, the Treasury has not responded to the crux of the issue: public service grants and contracts are not properly funded to meet the rising cost of delivering them. And the fall out of years of underfunding is creating a crisis in delivery of these services. People who need support more than ever, will slip through the gaps. This stark warning from the charity sector has gone unheard.

Missing the mark

The public services impacted by underfunding of grants and contracts typically aren’t crisis services, which is what the £76m cost of living fund is focused on. Instead, they are things like sexual health clinics, social care, and training and skills programmes – crucial services, delivered by charities and organisations with a deep and unrivalled understanding of the communities and issues.

These services empower people to play their full role in their communities, so ensuring they continue to help as many people as possible is crucial. They are also an investment because they often play a role in preventing people from needing more support or reaching crisis point.

What next?

In November we said that we owed it to our members, and to charities across the country, to keep calling for change. And that’s what we’re doing. As part of our submission to the Treasury ahead of Wednesday’s spring budget, we’re continuing our efforts to make sure the ask is heard, and action is taken.

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