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CAF Policy Team

A champion for charities

Charities Aid Foundation

Briefing: SNP 2019

27 November 2019

The SNP manifesto sheds light on what their MPs would be advocating for in Westminster, so what’s in there for charities?

Focus on corporate responsibility

The SNP’s manifesto commits to ‘improving corporate culture’, building on the Scottish Business Pledge – a partnership between Government and businesses based on boosting productivity through fairness, equality, environmental action and sustainable employment. Aiming to encourage businesses to become ‘partners for social progress’, it includes obligatory elements such as the living wage, closing the gender pay gap and not using zero-hours contracts. The SNP says it will support private sector trends towards greater responsibility, emphasising businesses taking a greater stake in the communities in which they operate. While favouring collaboration, the party supports direct intervention where forms fail to meet their legal and social obligations.

SNP MPs will back moves to increase worker representation on company boards, support UK legalisation similar to Scotland’s targets for 50-50 gender balance by 2020 on public boards, and back moves to ensure executive pension contributions are the same for all workers in a company. The party also says it will support steps towards firms including climate change related disclosures in annual reports on a statutory basis and a system of climate-friendly external auditing.

The SNP want Scotland to be the best place for people to live

 We know that charities are constantly striving for a better world, it is their bread and butter, as they are on the ground delivering services in the community and understand people’s needs. Charities should therefore be a key consideration of making Scotland the best place to live. Many of the policies announced within the SNP manifesto are areas where charities can be a huge resource of expertise and knowledge for policy makers. For example in their commitment to tackle online harm, climate change, veterans rights, gambling problems and child poverty – there are many charities who have a wealth of policy and expertise which if utilised could improve policy.

Commitment to support change to charity lottery law

There is a potential for significantly more money to be going to charities through the raising of the lottery limits, however it must always be viewed with care given issues around gambling. It is therefore encouraging to see that this announcement comes alongside a commitment to conduct a public health inquiry into gambling related harm, where many charities will have the expertise and interest.

Sustainable Development Goals

 The SDGs are a ‘blueprint for building a better future for all’ in the manifesto and we are glad to see another party commit to spend 0.7% of GDP on overseas development assistance. It also goes further to confirm that SNP MPs will pressure the UK Government to ensure the money is concentrated in the hands of the Department for International Development and not spend on projects other than humanitarian aid. Civil society is key to promoting a fairer, safer world and CAF’s Groundwork for Growing Giving campaign focuses on the need to promote a positive operating environment across the world.