MSPs call for an urgent review of funding arrangements for third sector
Members of Holyrood's Equalities and Human Rights committee are calling on the Scottish Government to increase its equalities and third sector funding support and for all public bodies to look at innovative ways to fund the third sector. MSPs have also voiced concerns about the impact that only providing funding on a year-long basis could have - saying this makes it difficult for groups to deliver projects and maintain their workforce.
In its pre-budget report, the Scottish Parliament’s Equalities and Human Rights Committee said the work of the third sector is vital in realising equalities and human rights in Scotland, but they way in which it is funded needs to be reviewed.
The committee heard that reduced and short-term funding, has led to job insecurity, loss of talent, and essential services either being reduced or stopped altogether, directly affecting the communities and vulnerable people who rely on them.
The Socttish Government has moved to a three-year funding model, and the comittee has suggested they want other funders to adopt this model and have asked the Scottish Government to set up a working group, involving key stakeholders, to examine longer-term funding options for the third sector.
Committee Convener, Ruth Maguire MSP, said:
“The third sector provides huge value to communities right across Scotland. More funding would give greater stability to the support these organisations provide. Crucially, this will help not only those who benefit from that support, but also the many women, carers, and people with disabilities employed by the sector."
The Committee acknowledges financial pressure all public bodies, including Scottish Government and councils, are facing and calls on the Scottish Government to urgently review with its local government partners how the third sector is funded.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman has stated: "We welcome the committee's report and will consider its recommendations and respond in due course."
The full report, ‘Looking ahead to the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget 2020-21: Valuing the Third Sector’, will be available from the Socttish Parliament website shortly.