Nearly £70m of new funding from banking fines has been announced to support military charities and other good causes in today’s summer Budget.
The money, which will be distributed over the next five years, includes £50m to the Cadet Expansion Programme to increase the number of cadet units in state schools to 500 by 2020. Martin Coles, chief executive of the Sea Cadets said that the government’s increased support was evidence of the value that investing in young people could bring.
"Sea Cadets has been working with the government as part of the Cadet Expansion Programme for two years," he said. "We’ve seen a significant impact on young people through our work, helping them to gain life skills and confidence, and in some cases it’s had a transformative effect on attendance and behaviour in schools."
Other military charities to benefit include the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, which will get £5m, and the Defence Medical Welfare Services, which will receive £0.5m of funding for the provision of welfare services to members of the armed forces who are in hospital.
The Children’s Air Ambulance is to receive £2m from banking fines. This will allow it to increase its service to two helicopters by the end of 2016 and extend its free service that transfers babies and children to specialist care.
Andy Williamson, chief executive of the Air Ambulance Service, which operates the national Children’s Air Ambulance, said: "Currently, our service can reach about one in three patients who need our help. With a second helicopter, we should be able to meet nearly all the demand for emergency paediatric transfers from hospitals to specialist centres."
There will also be support for victims of domestic abuse. The government has announced a £3m fund, not from banking fines, to encourage innovative approaches such as refuge provision to help those suffering from domestic abuse.
Sandra Horley, chief executive of the domestic abuse charity Refuge, said that although the money was welcome, it was only a "stop-gap" and a long-term sustainable funding solution was needed to support women and children who were fleeing domestic violence.
"Domestic violence is a national problem, occurring on a huge scale – one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime," she said. "This is why it needs a national funding solution.
"Domestic violence is estimated to cost the country £16bn a year; investing in services makes economic sense, saving money in the long run.
"We welcome the government’s commitment to supporting those who experience domestic violence, but urge it to recognise the need for a long-term, sustainable and national solution to funding specialist domestic violence services."