£2m less than promised in Government's third sector action plan

DWP volunteer brokerage scheme opens with £8m

One key strand of the Government's third sector action plan will give £2m less than originally indicated and another is likely to be delayed.

When the Office of the Third Sector announced the plan in February, it said the volunteer brokerage scheme, funded by the Department for Work and Pensions, would be worth up to £10m.

But when the scheme, which pays charities to provide volunteering opportunities for jobseekers, opened last week, a DWP spokeswoman said it would provide £8m.

This means the value of the action plan, which also includes a £16.5m modernisation fund to facilitate mergers and partnerships and a £15.5m targeted support fund giving small grants, is likely to be worth £40.5m rather than £42.5m.

The targeted support fund was due to open from this month, but an OTS spokesman said a date had still to be finalised. "The policy team is still working on it," he said.

Conservative MP Nick Hurd, the shadow charities minister, said: "We are getting the usual smoke and mirrors from the Government. No new money from the Treasury and now shifting sands."

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