Following yesterday’s announcement of the Scottish Budget for 2022-23, SCVO’s Chief Executive Anna Fowlie said:

“We are disappointed that despite all the talk of the importance of Scotland’s voluntary sector during the pandemic, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy thinks it’s acceptable to cut her government’s third sector budget.

“Just that same morning, the Scottish Parliament praised the work of Scotland’s voluntary sector during the pandemic and emphasised the importance of the infrastructure that supports it.

“It is quite incredible that we then saw the Scottish Government plan to reduce its support for voluntary sector infrastructure only a few hours later.

“Voluntary organisations need support to do their vital work for people and communities. Any cut will result in weakened support for voluntary organisations, and their volunteers, across Scotland at a time of rising costs and increased demand.

“More welcome is the Cabinet Secretary’s commitment during the budget debate to multi-year funding for the voluntary sector, and the plans for a resource spending review next May which will allow for spending to be planned on a three to four-year basis.

“While this is an important step towards meaningful multi-year funding for the sector, it is not in itself enough. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to ensure that this shift to funding voluntary organisations on a multi-year basis includes a shift in practice to include important elements like inflationary uplifts and greater flexibility.

“There is also nothing stopping Scottish Government being less risk averse right now with relatively small amounts of money. This would make a huge difference to the stability and confidence of charities, community organisations and social enterprises, allowing them to focus on the people they work with rather than wasting time continually chasing money.”