Impact and scale of voluntary and community sector cuts


NCVO has published the 2012 NCVO Civil Society Almanac. Findings in the Almanac “depict a charity sector struggling with the worst recession for fifty years.” They show that “by the end of the spending review period 2015/16, the voluntary sector is forecast to lose £1.2 billion in government income each year, a cumulative total of £3.3 billion.” They also note that “income from statutory grants has declined steadily from a peak of £5.3 billion in real terms in 2003/4 to £3 billion in 2009/10. At the same time, the decade saw a significant increase in contract income as voluntary organisations’ role in public service delivery expanded, from £4.3 billion in 2000/1 to £10.9 billion in 2009/10.”

The Cabinet Office has published a private report from ACEVO, Cuts to the Third Sector: What Can We Learn from Transition Fund Applications?. The report sets out preliminary findings of spending reductions based on applicants’ assumptions of reduction in statutory income. It reports that cuts to the charity sector in the UK in 2011/12 will range from just under £1bn in the very best case scenario, to just over £5.5bn in the very worst case scenario. The Cabinet Office said that it does not consider the ACEVO findings to be a reliable estimate.

Lasa, which provides knowledge, support and resources to thousands of charities across the UK, has published findings from a recent survey of 446 professionals on third sector learning and development. It found that 86% of charity sector professionals are worried that the quality of service given to their clients will be affected by cuts to training budgets over the next 10 years. 76% said that they thought that training and professional development were absolutely necessary for them to do their jobs well. 49% of respondents do not have the budget to train volunteers and staff to support the Big Society agenda, whilst 34% were not sure if they have.

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