One-fifth of charities in Northern Ireland considering job losses, says Nicva

Poll finds 20% 'have or will impose wage freezes'

More than a fifth of charities in Northern Ireland are considering making redundancies as a result of the recession, a survey by the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action says.

Nicva's email survey of the chief executives at 61 organisations in the province, carried out in September, found that 21 per cent of respondents believed redundancies might be necessary if  their organisation was to survive the recession.

Another 13 per cent had already made redundancies, and 20 per cent were planning or had already imposed wage freezes.

An overwhelming majority of respondents - 86 per cent - said the demand for services had increased as a result of the recession, but only 29 per cent of these said their funders had increased their funding accordingly.

However, 51 per cent of organisations said the recession had not yet had any impact on their funding streams and only 6 per cent were certain it would have an impact in the future; most respondents were unsure.

Frances McCandless, Director of Policy at NICVA, said the figures confirmed what was known anecdotally and painted a worrying picture.

"It is not surprising that the main response of many organisations is uncertainty," she said. "Given the possible future shape of public spending, it may well be that the effects of recession are felt most keenly a year to 18 months down the line from now."

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