MSPs urge reform of charity funding by Scottish government

A report from the Equalities and Human Rights Committee says an increase in funding would reverse a trend towards job insecurity and shrinkage of essential services delivered by the sector

Scottish parliament
Scottish parliament

MSPs have called for an increase in and reform of charity funding from the Scottish government.

The Equalities and Human Rights Committee says in its pre-budget report that reduced and short-term funding has in recent years led to job insecurity, a loss of talent and shrinkage in essential services delivered by the charity sector.

The committee welcomed a commitment by the Scottish government to move to a three-year funding model for charities, but said more had to be done to ensure support services provided by charities were adequately supported.

Competition for funding is also acting as a disincentive for collaboration between organisations, the committee’s report says, and longer notices of applications for funding should be introduced to help smaller charities apply and work together on bids.

Applications should also be made more inclusive, the report says, to help diverse groups apply for funding.

Ruth Maguire, convener of the committee, said it recognised that there were financial pressures on government and local councils, but a review of charity funding was required.

"The committee found that charities across many sectors are at the sharp edge of these financial pressures," she said.

"The committee would like to see a real drive to strengthen the third sector in Scotland, with additional funding available to promote and facilitate cooperation and collaboration to provide the services that are so vital in realising equalities and human rights."

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