Spending review pulls ‘Transition Fund’ rabbit out of the hat

I must say, I tried to listen to Osborne’s live spending review statement on R4, and I thought I had listened reasonably thoroughly, but I missed this… Third Sector Online reveals that the speech included proposals for a ‘transition fund’ for charities in genuine hardship, aimed primarily at medium and large “organisations delivering front-line services that stand to be affected in the short term by reductions in spending, and [which] are able to demonstrate that the financial impact will affect their ability to deliver services”.  Read the story here.

The fund, to be delivered with an as yet undisclosed partner, is likely to be worth a total of £100m — £10m this year, and £90m next year. ACEVO’s chief exec has called it good news and a  rabbit pulled out of the hat.

NAVCA’s chief exec on the other hand says he will be arguing that OCS exercise ‘tough love’ in how the fund is administered, and that local authority areas that have made savage cuts in third sector funding should not be able to apply to the transition fund. This, he has argued, would be rewarding bad practice. “I don’t think this fund should be used to reward local authorities that have cut the voluntary sector deeply and disproportionately,” Third Sector Online quotes him as saying.

Key headlines from the review:

  • Local government spending will be cut by about 30% over the lifetime of the spending review.
  • About 490,000 public sector jobs likely to be lost.
  • Average 19% four-year cut in departmental budgets.
  • Structural deficit to be eliminated by 2015.
  • £7bn in additional welfare budget cuts – total cuts in welfare benefits about £18bn.
  • Police funding cut by 4% a year.
  • Retirement age to rise from 65 to 66 by 2020.
  • NHS budget protected; £2bn extra for social care.
  • Schools budget to rise every year until 2015.
  • £30bn capital spending on transport.
  • Permanent bank levy.

The full spending review document can be downloaded here.

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