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Charities ‘must not be seen as an easy target for cuts’ - CAF

23 April 2015

Responding to the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ analysis of political parties' manifestos, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has warned that charities must not be seen as an easy target for cuts in the next parliament.

CAF Chief Executive John Low said:

“Today’s analysis suggests that we have not yet seen the full picture of the cuts that are likely to be made over the next few years. It is clear that whoever forms the next government is going to have some very difficult decisions to make.

“Charities and voluntary organisations have seen government funding to deliver public services cut by billions compared to just a few years ago. Many large charities consider reductions in government funding to be one of their most pressing challenges.

“Coinciding with this tough financial squeeze, there has been a huge increase in demand for the services and support charities provide.

“Charities play a vital and varied role in all aspects of our national life from which most people in Britain benefit. Politicians must take account of this when spending decisions are being made in the next parliament. They must also remember that it should not be the role of charities to fill the austerity gap.

“The value to the economy of formal volunteering alone is more than £25 billion. It is clear that a further squeeze on charities would not only be bad for most people’s quality of life, but would also be counterproductive for the nation's finances.

“The next government must work seriously with charities to ensure that the relationship between the public sector and charities is one of collaboration, not abdication.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

1 The Charities Aid Foundation helps people and businesses support the causes they care about, and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector.

2 Research by the Charities Aid Foundation and Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations last month found that 78% of charities had seen an increase in demand over the last 12 months and 83% anticipated increased demand over the next 12 months. CAF Social Landscape Report 2015.

3  Most recent Office for National Statistics data shows the value of formal volunteering to the UK economy was £25.6 billion

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