Mixed bag from the coalition at Mid-Term Review, says NCVO
Written by Andrew Holt
With the Government issuing its Mid-Term Review, taking stock of progress made in implementing the Coalition agreement signed in May 2010, the NCVO said the coalition has done some things right, but in other areas, the coalition hasn’t done enough.
Deputy CEO of NCVO, Ben Kernighan said: “The country faces long term cuts in public spending and many people are struggling financially. We have less money, but more problems.
“The Prime Minister was right to recognise that in these circumstances charities can and should play a bigger role. He called this the Big Society. Charities are crucial in these difficult times as they understand what support people need to get by. They play a vital role in ensuring that limited public resources are spent well and engage millions of volunteers in helping to create a better society.
“The coalition government has done some things right: extending the gift aid scheme to small donations through recent legislation, setting up a new Big Society Bank, and making checks on volunteers easier.
"But in other areas, the coalition hasn’t done enough: too many public service contracts are not appropriate to voluntary organisations: they are too big or require charities to have too much money in the bank. In addition, too many public bodies are cutting charity budgets more deeply than their own.
"For the Prime Minister’s vision to be achieved he will have to change how commissioning is done, provide more support and training for volunteers and stop public bodies cutting charities disproportionately.”
The review reflected on the Government’s progress in building a "stronger, more balanced economy and a fair society" in which everyone can rise as high as their aspirations and talents take them.
The Mid-Term Review also highlights a new set of reforms: these include supporting working families with childcare costs and helping to make the dream of home ownership a reality for more people.
Meanwhile, reforms to provide dignity in old age are to be outlined, including an improved state pension that rewards saving, and more help with the costs of long-term care.
The Prime Minister David Cameron and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “We are dealing with the deficit, rebuilding the economy, reforming welfare and education and supporting hard working families through tough times.
“And on all of these key aims, our parties, after 32 months of coalition, remain steadfast and united. Of course there have been some issues on which we have not seen eye to eye, and no doubt there will be more. That is the nature of coalition.
“But on the things that matter most – the big structural reforms needed to secure our country’s long term future – our resolve and sense of shared purpose have, if anything, grown over time.
“At the half-way point in the parliament, we are taking stock of the progress we have made in implementing the coalition agreement that we signed in May 2010.
"But we are also initiating a new set of reforms, building on those already underway, to secure our country’s future and help people realise their ambitions.”
Govt outlines support for international social investors and entrepreneurs
New chief executive for HALO
Joint Committee supports more powers for Charity Commission
New chief executive for Alzheimer’s Research UK
New chief exec for Family Links
New data reveals how much Govt and local authorities spend with social enterprises
Tesco raises £18.6m for Diabetes UK
Charity Commission takes action in response to ITV undercover documentary
Trustees came under the spotlight last year because of their reluctance to defend
the salaries of their chief executives. The sector has since offered trustees opportunities to learn from the experience. It is an opportunity they must take, argues Andrew Holt
Tris Lumley takes the reader on an in-depth journey analysing impact
leadership, arguing that impact starts with leadership
Andrew Holt searches through the maze that is the Big Society for meaningJune/July 2013 Cover Story: Testing times, big opportunities
Contrasting sector evidence suggests the fundraising environment is tougher than it has ever been while other data suggests it is indeed tough but equally ripe with opportunity. Hugh Wilson unravels the debate