Voluntary sector feels left out of party election manifestos, survey reveals

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6th May 2015 15:45 - Voluntary

The Charities Aid Foundation’s latest survey has revealed that 4 in 5 people, working in the voluntary sector, believe that charities are not Voluntary sector feels left out of party election manifestos, survey revealsfocused on enough in the parties' election manifestos.

The survey of 114 charity workers found that just 5 per cent feel that the parties effectively convey their voluntary sector policies.

The findings also uncovered a sense of confusion surrounding the manifestos, with just half of the respondents saying that they understood the Conservatives’ voluntary sector policies either “very well” or “fairly well”. Fewer people understood labours policies for the sector, with just 42 per cent saying they understood. Closely following Labour was the Liberal Democrats (35 per cent), the Green Party (30 per cent) and UKIP (20 per cent).

Of the policies in the manifestos, the findings revealed that the promotion of social action and volunteering was the most favoured, with 96 per cent of respondents agreeing with it. As well as this, 57 per cent of the respondents said that this policy was the most important for the next government to put into effect.

Other popular policies, which were identified as priorities, were: developing the social economy (45 per cent), lifting local authority fees for food banks and charity shops disposing of unwanted items (41 per cent), maintaining or raising the government’s international aid spend (41 per cent).

The findings also showed that 54 per cent of the respondents believed that large or public sector workplaces should make it compulsory for their staff to commit to three days of volunteering per year.

48 per cent said that the role of charities in the delivery of public services should be widened. However, 33 per cent disagreed with this and 19 per cent were unsure.

Another popular policy was that of developing the social economy by assisting social enterprises, mutual and co-operatives, with 87 per cent believing that this was important.

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