Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has said a new fund for not-for-profit advice services will be announced in the Budget later this month.
Speaking at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’ annual conference today, Alexander said: "We will be making additional funding available to not-for-profit advice services, to deal with some of the consequences that might otherwise follow from the legal aid bill." He declined to say how much funding would be made available.
The Liberal Democrat MP said he also wanted to simplify Gift Aid and to encourage private investors to consider investing in social enterprises and social impact bonds.
In a question-and-answer session after the speech, Martyn Lewis, chair of the NCVO, said to Alexander: "The voluntary sector workforce is shrinking at twice the rate of the public sector workforce. What is fair about that?"
In response, Alexander said the government had taken a range of steps to help the voluntary sector. "Many reductions have come from local authorities, and it is for local communities to hold local authorities to account," he said.