The Prime Minister has said the government is considering a “package of measures” to support the voluntary sector as it faces potentially catastrophic falls in income because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Major voluntary sector bodies have been increasing the pressure on the government in recent days to provide urgent financial aid to the sector in the face of an estimated £4.3bn shortfall in income over the next three months.
Caron Bradshaw, chief executive of the Charity Finance Group, warned yesterday that the sector could be “decimated” if aid was not immediately provided by the government.
During Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today, Tracy Brabin, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, said charities were in “absolutely dire straits” and referenced a letter, signed by more than 150 cross-party parliamentarians and sent over the weekend, calling for urgent aid.
“Furloughing staff who are providing services to the vulnerable is just not an option,” she said.
“When is the Prime Minister going to come forward with an urgent package of measures so that they can continue their life-saving work?”
Johnson responded by saying that Brabin was “absolutely right to pay tribute to the voluntary sector”.
He said charities were crucial to the national response to the coronavirus crisis and said Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, were “looking at a package of measures to support charities as well”.
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Source: Third Sector