Sector can't fill gaps left by the state, says Institute of Fundraising

It tells committee of MPs that cuts to the sector 'threaten to derail the big society before it has even got off the ground'

Institute of Fundraising
Institute of Fundraising

The government's big society agenda should not entail the voluntary sector stepping in to fill gaps left by the withdrawal of the state, according to the Institute of Fundraising.

In its evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee inquiry into the big society, the IoF says: "The voluntary sector cannot be – and should not be – called upon to do the job of the state."

Responses to the inquiry, launched in February to find out what the big society means and assess its potential effects on society and the voluntary sector, were due last week.

The IoF asks where the resources are going to come from to underpin the concept of the big society. "Initiatives such as the Big Society Bank are unlikely to be sufficient to compensate for the swingeing cuts now being introduced by some local authorities," it says.

"While it is accepted that there is a need to deal with the economic deficit in the UK and to balance the books, the scale of the cuts currently being faced by the voluntary sector in particular threaten to derail the big society before it has even got off the ground."

It says the private sector will need to play an important role in helping to deliver the big society with money and expertise.

Su Panchanathan, committee assistant for the PASC, told Third Sector it had received more than 100 responses to the inquiry and that oral evidence would be started in April. She said it may eventually produce a report on the subject.

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