Charities Must Be Paid In Full, Warns Union

One of Scotland’s biggest unions has called on local authorities to pay charities full costs for their services to the public sector. The Edinburgh branch of the TGWU, which has almost 1000 members in the voluntary sector, met councillors to relay growing concerns about financial problems.

The news comes just a day after The Herald revealed charities are subsidising the public sector by up to £130m a year. An independent report commissioned by the Scottish Executive revealed more than 70% of voluntary organisations, which provide services such as social work, nursing and care services, are not recouping the full costs of services from local authorities – and a number of charities have warned they may have to close certain services.

Des Loughney, secretary of the Edinburgh branch of the TGWU, said: “The financial problems of the voluntary sector are resulting in redundancies and wage freezes. In many cases local authorities are funding much of the voluntary sector’s work – yet they should all provide full cost recovery.

“We met with the council and they said it was getting clearer that a financial crisis was developing within the voluntary sector.” Councillor Ian Perry, the deputy leader of Edinburgh City Council, said a formula was needed to “resolve some of the financial stress” on voluntary organisations.