Don't ignore charities in election campaign - comment

31 March 2015

Commenting on the official launch of the party campaigns, John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

"As the battle lines are drawn in the run up to the election, one thing that all parties must agree on is the vital importance of a strong and thriving charity sector for the future of our country. Charities have an important stake in debates over the economy, Europe and most other issues and their voice must be heard and listened to.

"The vacuum left by the sidelining of the 'Big Society' idea, which was centre stage in 2010, has yet to be filled by any party. Today, for example, we have a 'Better Plan for Business' but where is the strategy for the social sector?

"Charity chiefs tell us that they are pessimistic about government support for civil society and political parties ignore this at their peril. Charities not only provide the vital safety net for many of the most vulnerable in our society, but also help to bolster democracy and  strengthen our ties in communities. 

"A diminished civil society would have disastrous consequences for all citizens across the UK."

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a charity which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector.

CAF's research shows:

  • Almost three-fifths (59%) of charity Chief Executives are pessimistic about government support for the sector  (Social Landscape 2015, CAF/ACEVO)
  • Nearly eight out of ten (79%) British households have used at least one charitable service in the last 12 months, and half (51%) in the last month (Charity Street, CAF 2014)
  • Of those using charities within the previous 12 months, nearly three-quarters (73%) rated the role of charities within society as highly important. Furthermore, nearly two-fifths (38%) of these charity users agreed strongly that charities "encourage people from different backgrounds, ages and cultural groups to come together", and 36% agreed strongly that they "generate a sense of community pride" - Charity Street, CAF 2014).

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