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Charities Aid Foundation


30 May 2017

There are now just a few days until the general election, and all parties have laid out their plans for the future of the country. Overall, it’s been a low-key election for charities, with little said about their role in society, or the importance of volunteering and donating.

More positively, each party has priorities that offer opportunities to use the expertise of charities to make a difference. From the cross-party consensus on mental health, to issues around loneliness, social mobility and support for veterans, there are clear roles for charities to play in helping to improve the lives of vulnerable people.

Charities will hope that the party which forms the next government will be willing to work in tandem with them to address the challenges that the country faces.

Here are the top things to take from each manifesto:

The Conservative Party sees a role for charities in helping to tackle some of the challenges that the country faces including the growing mental health crisis, helping to build stronger communities and providing support to asylum seekers, whilst recommitting to its 0.7% aid pledge. Find out more about the Conservative Party’s plans here.

Green Party
The Green Party puts forward plans to do more to encourage young people to become active citizens, which could offer opportunities to promote giving and volunteering. The party also promises to raise spending on international development to 1% of GDP, whilst committing to incorporating European environmental protections into domestic legislation. Our full take on the Green Party’s manifesto can be found here.

The Labour Party promises to get rid of the Lobbying Act, continue to spend 0.7% of GNI on international aid, and hinted at using charities to help the UK influence the international environment through soft power. Read more about Labour’s plans here.

Liberal Democrats
The Liberal Democrats propose a 5p coffee cup levy that could generate income for charities, increased support for social investment and a strengthening of the Social Value Act. Tim Farron’s party also joins the coalition of parties seeking to protect the UK’s promise to spend 0.7% of GNI on international aid. Read our take on the Lib Dems' proposals here.

Plaid Cymru
Plaid Cymru promises to retain the UK’s aid spending commitment that sees 0.7% of GNI going towards international development. The party also wants to see more public spending contracts given to organisations operating in the UK, which could be an opportunity for Welsh charities. See what we said about Plaid Cymru’s manifesto here.

The SNP commits to repealing the parts of the Lobbying Act that restrict charity advocacy, which some charities have said has prevented them for speaking up for their beneficiaries during the election campaign. The SNP, which currently leads the Scottish Government at Holyrood, also commits to retaining the international aid spending pledge. You can find our more detailed look at the SNP’s manifesto here.

UKIP breaks away from the consensus on spending 0.7% of GNI on international aid, promising to cut it to 0.2%. The party repeats a 2015 manifesto promise to exempt foodbanks and charity shops from charges on disposing of unwanted food waste and other goods. UKIP also sees a key role for charities in helping to develop a proposed Veteran’s Administration. Learn more about UKIP’s manifesto here.

We’re almost at the end of the election campaign. We’ll be bringing you our analysis of the results on Friday 9th June, as well as taking a look at what ties the new intake of MPs have to the charity sector, and what policy issues might be on the table in the months ahead.

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