State action ‘diminishing the sector's voluntary spirit'

Government actions are diminishing the voluntary spirit of the charity sector, according to an opinion poll.

More than 72 per cent of respondents to a Directory of Social Change online survey agreed that increased voluntary sector involvement in public service delivery and a blurring of the lines between state and sector accountabilities was changing the spirit of the sector.

Government cost-cutting and the erosion of charity independence were also major concerns, according to respondents.

"The Government is still not listening," said Ben Wittenberg, head of policy and research at the DSC. "When it talks about the voluntary sector it is referring only to the minority of large, national public service-delivering organisations."

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