Government spending on charities at record high

Total hit £3.26bn in 2005/06, says Office of the Third Sector

Central government spending on voluntary and community organisations reached its highest level on record in 2005/06, according to new figures from the Office of the Third Sector.

The figures, published in Estimates of Central Government Expenditure on Voluntary and Community Organisations, show that spending on the sector, excluding housing associations, rose from £2.99bn in 2004/05 to £3.26bn in 2005/06. The figures in the report go back to 1982/83, and 2005/06 is the most recent period covered.

The report shows that since 2000/01, spending on voluntary and community organisations has grown at a faster rate than the Government's overall spending levels.

In 2005/06, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which has since been replaced by the Communities and Local Government department, was responsible for 40 per cent of all central government expenditure on voluntary organisations.

The former Department for Education and Skills accounted for 11 per cent, the report shows.

The report says that in 2005/06, an average of £36 per person was spent on the voluntary sector in London, compared with £13 per head in the east of England.

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