CAF comments on proposals in Labour’s draft manifesto

11 May 2017

Commenting on proposals outlined in the leaked version of Labour’s draft manifesto, John Low Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation said:

"Charities will be pleased by proposals in Labour's draft manifesto to scrap the Lobbying Act, freeing them up to speak up and campaign for changes that the most vulnerable people in society need.  We also applaud the party's commitment to continue spending 0.7% of GNI on international development and the recognition that cuts to local authority and charity grants have reduced the ability of charities to tackle vital social problems including homelessness.

"Labour's commitment to supporting civil society organisations working overseas is also positive as part of a long-term strategy to develop societies.  British charities and the positive relationships they develop on the ground do a great deal to bolster our international relationships and influence, and also promote the values that we hold dear via the soft power they exert.  British charities working abroad must be an integral part of plans to secure and strengthen our global role.

“Loneliness is a growing social problem that must be addressed and it is important that, as Labour's draft manifesto proposes, all sectors of society - communities, civil society and business - work together on this.  This builds upon the principles underpinning the Post-Careers Advice Service that CAF has called for, which would seek to increase access to volunteering opportunities as a way of reducing loneliness and improving people's health and wellbeing.

"However, the draft manifesto misses a number of opportunities to draw on the expertise that charities have to offer, and put them at the heart of society.  From plans to build a more equal society to tackling homelessness and mental health problems, charities have so much to offer.  All political parties must commit to working hand-in-hand with charities, using their unique place within our communities to help strengthen our society.  In the days ahead of its formal launch, we hope that the Labour Party can develop a more comprehensive vision for the role of charities in modern Britain."

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