Monday, August 8, 2011

The gap between Government rhetoric about civil society and the reality

The UK Cameron Coalition Government has made all sorts of policy statements about the importance of civil society and the NFP sector in contributing to the "Big Society", but the sector is being devastated by funding cuts and the privatization and outsourcing of human services and public services to corporations.
A new report publicized in the UK Independent shows that not for profits and charities are set to lose 3 billion pounds in public funding over the next 5 years.
This comes on top of research by False Economy UK, which used freedom of information requests to show that 2,000 charities in England have suffered funding cuts this year and these cuts represent just a small amount of the agencies facing funding cuts.
The gap between the rhetoric of Governments about the importance of the not- for- profit sector and civil society and the reality has never been starker and should serve as a caution to NFP's here in Australia. 
The Independent reports:
"Britain's voluntary organisations face losing almost £3bn in funding over the next five years, according to the first comprehensive report to analyse the coming impact of spending cuts on the public sector.

In a blow to David Cameron's much-trumpeted "Big Society", charities across the UK face the prospect of their funds dropping by £911m a year by 2016, and losing £2.8bn in total over the next five years, according to research by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) published today.

The six-month study, which looked at how cuts to central and local government over the next half decade will hit the voluntary sector, predicts that charities will lose 7.7 per cent of their current public funds by 2016 if government departments pass on their cuts proportionately. Currently, central and local government together contribute at least £11.8bn to charities each year".

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