Charities have applied for less money from the government's £100m Transition Fund than was expected, according to Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society.
Speaking at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society (and Volunteering) in the House of Commons yesterday, Hurd said that every fund received applications for more money than was available, "by a certain multiple"; but in the case of the Transition Fund the multiple was lower than expected.
The Transition Fund was set up to help charities that are facing cuts in public funding for service delivery.
Hurd told the group that helping voluntary groups that were struggling because of cuts in local authority funding was his "biggest challenge in the short term".
Earlier this month, Third Sector reported that charities believed the eligibility criteria for the fund were too restrictive.
When asked whether the £100m Transition Fund was big enough to meet the demand, Hurd said it was "a serious amount of money".
Referring to services provided by the voluntary sector, he said: "It's inevitable that we'll lose some stuff. That's the mess we were left in by the last government."
He also told the group that implementing the licensing regime for face-to-face fundraising, which was included in the Charities Act 2006 but has not yet been put into practice, was not a priority for the Office for Civil Society.
"I've got no short-term plans to implement it and my sense is that there are bigger fish to fry," he said.