Steve Reed, Labour shadow minister for civil society
The shadow minister for civil society has condemned the government’s announcement that it will launch a new cross-departmental charities strategy as "little more than a tick-box exercise to cover up the government’s total neglect of the sector".
Steve Reed, MP for Croydon and shadow minister for civil society, criticised the government for isolating the sector by moving the Office for Civil Society to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and for cutting funding that the sector receives.
“It doesn’t take a year-long review to find out that demoting the civil society brief from a powerful, cross-department position in the Cabinet Office was always going to leave the sector isolated," he said.
“Having slashed funding for the sector and its regulator, the minister has ruled out any financial help for struggling charities on day one of the new strategy.”
‘Charities will have little faith in it’
He added that based on the government’s recent record of engaging with the sector, charities will have “little faith” in this strategy.
Reed said: “We’ve already seen from the Hodgson review that the government is more than happy to ignore recommendations. When they conducted reviews on the impact of Brexit on 58 different sectors of the economy, they didn’t even bother to look at the third sector.
“Charities will have little faith in this strategy being anything more than a hollow tick box exercise to cover up the government’s blind indifference to the sector.”
Charity representative bodies have said they are looking forward to working with the government.