NCVO Annual Conference: NCVO sets out its election goals

The NCVO is proposing that all unclaimed assets from financial institutions should be compulsorily transferred to charities if voluntary donations from those institutions fail to reach £500m by April 2006.

The suggestion is part of the umbrella body's General Election manifesto, which is being unveiled at its annual conference today (Wednesday). The manifesto is being sent to candidates from all three main political parties and the three party leaders are being asked to endorse it.

Other proposals include a government-funded Invest to Give programme, building on the Year of the Volunteer and aimed at promoting the concepts of volunteering and donation of time to charities by certain sections of the public, such as young people.

The NCVO also wants all non-departmental public bodies to sign up to the Compact and appoint a Compact champion, whose responsibility it would be to oversee its implementation, by 2009. The organisation also wants local Compacts to be implemented more effectively. It believes that it should be mandatory for all regional public bodies to sign up by 2009.

The Government is also being urged to capitalise on its presidency of the European Union this year to promote a Compact-type agreement between EU institutions and EU-wide civil society.

Commenting on the manifesto, Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said: "If implemented, this will fundamentally alter the political and economic environment in which charities operate, whatever the nature of their activities.

"The voluntary sector must set its own course for the future, ensuring that the focus of the next government's voluntary sector policy is about more than just the delivery of public services."

- See Outside Edge, back page

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