Parity with public sector 'hopeless'

More than three-quarters of charity staff think it is impossible to achieve a level playing field in bidding for public service contracts, according to a Directory of Social Change survey.

The e-poll showed that just under 76 per cent of voluntary organisation staff who responded believed fair competition between the public, private and voluntary sectors was unachievable.

Given the choice of three responses, the majority went for "the three sectors are so different they can't ever compete on a level playing field".

Ben Wittenberg, director of policy and research at the DSC, said: "In terms of voluntary organisations providing statutory services, in the majority of cases grant funding is the most appropriate way for that to happen."

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