Following the snap election on 12th December, we take a look at reactions and consider what does the General Election result mean for charities?
The unexpected snap election has happened. As we wait for the dust to settle, you may be wondering, where do we go from here? After all the doubts and uncertainty in the run-up to the election, what does the general election result mean for charities?
The Conservative party have won by gaining seats in the north and midlands. Boris Johnson remains the Prime Minister. Jeremy Corbyn has stated he will step down as leader of the Labour party.
CAF’s Brexit and its Impact on Charitable Causes found that donations from the public remain consistent and have remained so during earlier periods of doubt, including the 2008 recession.
This has certainly been the case after the result of the election and provides more hope for the sector. Charities working with the most vulnerable people in society have announced a hike in support after the general election results. Shelter, Refuge, the Trussell Trust and the Biscuit Fund have all confirmed a surge in donations and/or registered supporters following the outcome of the general election.
Times are tough out there. The latest numbers confirm that a child is made homeless in Britain every eight minutes and approximately 51% more people have died homeless between 2013 and 2018. Food banks are now helping 23% more people in the last year. In light of the sobering reality for vulnerable, it is uplifting to know that the public wants to help change the current state of affairs.
It’s good to talk
We reported prior to the election that ACEVO launched their social media campaign #WeImagineBetter to foster dialogue with politicians. They published a manifesto with a key demand to ensure MPs create meaningful and significant relationships with charities. The group set out to spark a conversation about how the government should work with charities.
In the spirit of dialogue, a number of significant voices in the charity sector have reflected on the results. They all highlight the importance of the charity sector to engage in conversations to drive social change and progress.
Vicky Browning, chief executive of ACEVO, stated: “During the...campaign, civil society leaders called for...urgent action to tackle the stark inequalities and injustices in our society, from ending homelessness to fixing the social care crisis.”
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of CFG, commented “The election result delivered a fundamental shift in politics. It’s essential that the charity and voluntary sector step up to be the safety net, the champions of the vulnerable and to speak up for all areas of society.”
Debra Allcock Tyler, chief executive of the Directory of Social Change (DSC) observed “Whether you’re rejoicing or in despair this morning at the result, remember that positive social change isn’t dependent on governments. Charities, social movements and individuals can overcome pretty much anything they face. However you voted, be kind and respectful to those who don’t share your views”.
Elizabeth Chamberlain, acting policy director at NCVO, commented “There’s a list of pressing tasks for the next government which we look forward to working with them on. The most important is establishing a clear and credible way forward on Brexit that upholds existing rights and standards...Also urgent is bolstering local government funding to reduce the strain that is being felt by charities and the people and places they support.”
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust stated: “We’re ready to share evidence from our network of food banks across the UK, and we’d encourage any new MPs to speak to their local food bank about why people are being referred for emergency food...It’s not right that anyone should have to turn to charity for the basics – this can change.”
Are you worried about how this election result will affect Brexit?
We reported that the government has pledged to cover any charity funding promised by the EU until 31st Dec 2020. Leaving the EU could potentially permit charities to access more VAT exemptions. Brexit could also help the UK to save the estimated £14bn spent on EU membership and distribute such savings to local services. In March, the government revealed plans for £1.6bn to aid disadvantaged areas. Nearly £1bn is destined for the Midlands and north of England which could support local charities.