Government ‘hardship’ fund softens cuts blow for UK voluntary sector

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced a £100 million Transition Fund for the voluntary sector as part of the government’s recent comprehensive spending review. The money will be allocated to voluntary and community organizations facing ‘real hardship’, he told the House of Commons.

According to civil society minister, Nick Hurd, it will be aimed at service delivery organizations with low levels of reserves that are highly dependent on public funding streams vulnerable to budget cuts. Eligibility for the fund is likely to be principally for medium and large organizations (those with incomes of between £50,000 and £10 million) capable of playing a greater role in delivering public services in future. It is designed to give them ‘breathing space’ to prepare for such a role. £10 million will be disbursed in this financial year and the rest in 2011/12.

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