Minister for Civil Society says the UK government has no plans for more emergency funding for charities

The UK government has no plans for a second dedicated emergency coronavirus funding package for charities, the minister for civil society, Baroness Barran, has said.

The announcement comes after charity leaders have been pushing for further grants to support the sector, which faces a £10 billion funding shortfall.

Baroness Barran was answering questions online at the launch of new research into the role of small charities during the pandemic, published by the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales (LBFEW).

Duncan Shrubsole, LBFEW’s director of policy, communications and research, asked Barran whether there would be measures to help the sector in next month’s budget, given the financial “cliff edge” facing charities which have to spend existing emergency funds by the end of March.

The minister said:

“The government really did do what we could to protect the work of charities over the last year, whether it was giving charity workers key worker status from the get go, allowing volunteering through the pandemic, and obviously the £750 million was the first targeted package which was announced by the government, as well as obviously all the cross-sector schemes.

“I am not trying to suggest this is about generous or not generous, it is just about doing the right thing in recognising the value of the sector.”

In February 2021, the #NeverMoreNeeded coalition published an open letter to the prime minister asking for an emergency support fund for the sector. They also launched the #RightNow campaign highlighting the role charities play.  

Barran said she was aware of the “concerns in the sector” but added that the government’s “main focus is on, How can we get the economy open again?” 

“Organisations can now start to think about public fundraising again, reopening charity retail and so forth.

“It might need to look a little bit different, but charity is nothing if not agile and creative in that regard.”

Referencing reforms to the Social Value Act and proposed changes to procurement rules, Barran said:

“There are doors that we can lean on that open up money. 

“But if you are asking me whether there will be another dedicated package, my understanding is no.”  

For more details about the #NeverMoreNeeded campaign, please visit its website.

Source: Civil Society News