Left Watch

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Voluntary sector dominated by Labour and Liberal Democrat sympathisers

A survey of 700 voluntary sector staff by ThirdSector magazine found very strong support for Labour:

Screen shot 2010-01-15 at 14.10.21 Much of the voluntary sector has become so dependent upon government funding that it is hardly voluntary at all. In return for massive government funding charities have increasingly echoed government policy positions. There is also enormous recycling of staff between central government, local government and the voluntary sector.

The most innovative poverty-fighting work is taking place in the smaller community-based groups.  The Conservatives should change the whole model of public sector funding of third sector organisations. Instead of direct grants, public money should only go to charities that successfully raise money from private sources through tax relief and matched funding programmes. There should also be voucherisation of funding so that money follows the choices of service users. The current Tory approach to the voluntary sector is managerial. It's an approach that won't produce a more diverse charity sector and it doesn't appear to be appealing to voluntary sector professionals either.

Tim Montgomerie