Urgent call for charity funding clarity
UK Government pressed on £10 million gap.
Tens of millions of pounds of lifeline funding has been fast-tracked to charities by the Scottish Government since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis despite delays in clarity over Barnett consequentials, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has said.
Highlighting the key role the third sector has played in delivering vital support during the pandemic, Ms Campbell urged the UK Government to be clear in its support for vital services, by indicating when a £10 million shortfall in funding would be resolved.
In April, £35 million of consequentials was earmarked for the Scottish Government in respect of charity support direct grants, but this was later amended by the Treasury to £25 million.
Ms Campbell said:
“Charities and third sector organisations have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 crisis to ensure food, essential supplies and other vital services reach those most in need in our communities, as donation streams and other funding routes dried up overnight.
“Now more than ever these organisations deserve clarity. Had we not acted quickly at the start of the crisis to ensure tens of millions in funding reached the frontline, many organisations would not have been able to provide the level of service they have delivered in communities across Scotland, and that would have been hugely damaging to the people who rely on them.
“The Finance Secretary has already written to the UK Government seeking clarity on this funding. A fortnight on and we are still in the dark over this £10 million shortfall, undermining the Scottish budget at a critical time.”
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has written to the UK Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay to raise the Scottish Government’s concerns.
Charities across Scotland receive funding from the Scottish Government, directly and via local authorities, through a £350 million package of emergency funding to help those most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including:
- the £50m Wellbeing Fund
- the £40m Supporting Communities Fund
- the £25m Third Sector Resilience Fund
Charities with property overheads can apply for the £10,000 Small Business Grant Scheme, expected to result in an additional £31 million in support.