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The £5 billion in funding snatched by central government is forcing charities to the wall and shaming all claims the prime minister makes to fostering a 'Big Society'(April 14th)

So says Unite the union, as a new survey shows that cuts to funding, job losses and individual stress are the chief worries of voluntary sector workers as the pain of the funding crisis grips the sector.

Over 2,000 workers from a spread of voluntary organisations across the UK surveyed said that their main concerns are:

  • ‘Cuts to funding’ - reported by 1,291 of the 2,059 respondents.
  • ‘Job security’- reported by 60 per cent of respondents.
  • ‘Redundancies’ - reported by 1129 workers.
  • ‘Stress’ - reported by over half of respondents.

Charities provide much needed support services to some of society’s most vulnerable citizens; the very young, the elderly and the disadvantaged. The union says when those services close, nothing will take their place.

Unite, the UK’s biggest union, has today (14 April) launched its Unite for our Society campaign to reach out to those working in the 170,000 charities spread throughout the UK, who are suffering in the face of national and local government spending cuts.

The union, which has over 60,000 members in the not for profit sector, is to host a series of new media conferences where workers can get advice on redundancies and the legal right to challenge cuts to voluntary organisation funding.

Sally Kosky, Unite national officer for the not for profit sector, said: “As these huge cuts destabilise the third sector, the more hollow the government’s ‘Big Society’ rhetoric sounds. When these services disappear - nothing replaces them.

“It is delusional to suggest that efficiencies can be made in a sector that already operates on a shoe-string or that knights in shining armour will arrive in the form of wealthy private donors.  This shows a catastrophic lack of understanding of the realities of the sector.

"This sector needs central government help and it needs it now. The government’s £100 million transitional fund and the ‘Big Society’ bank will provide £400 million, most of which will be in the form of repayable loans, but this leaves a shortfall of £4.6 billion in terms of the money government has taken from the sector.  That gap will see services disappear, community groups shut down and dedicated workers made redundant. Government must act now."


Source: UNITE

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Written by Scott Buckler   
Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:51
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 April 2011 10:53


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