Assembly to debate cuts to voluntary and community sector

On the 18th May the NI Assembly will debate the recent cuts to the voluntary and community sector. We are encouraging all voluntary and community organisations to contact MLAs and ask them to support this important motion.

Funding Cuts to the Community and Voluntary Sector

That this Assembly notes the important role of the community and voluntary sector across Northern Ireland in providing effective, efficient and value for money frontline services; accepts that, as a consequence of the 2015-16 Budget, decisions are being made by individual Executive Departments with no consideration of the impact on these services or the effect that they will have on the vulnerable in society; further notes that the ambiguity surrounding the European Social Fund has also forced many organisations to reduce their staff and their operations; and calls on the Executive to act in a coordinated manner to ensure that the sector and its organisations receive the required level of support and funding allocations.

Mr Robin Swann

Mr Roy Beggs

Mrs Sandra Overend

In your  emails or letters and you should tell MLAs about how the cuts have impacted on your organisation and the people, families and communities you work with.

You could also remind them that voluntary and community organisations are realistic about the difficult budget situation NI Ministers find themselves in.  We are not asking for protection or special treatment. We are asking for fairness. Services provided by voluntary and community organisations should not be the first place cuts fall because they are seen as a quick and easy cut. However based on current experience across the voluntary and community sector we believe:

•           Voluntary and community organisations are being cut unfairly and disproportionately.

•           Services delivered by voluntary and community organisations are bearing the brunt of cuts because they are seen as a quick and easy cut.  No thought is being given to the quality of services being provided or the impact of services ending.

•           Ministers are not aware of, or are not taking into account, the cumulative impact of numerous cuts across departments.

•           Cuts being made now in departments are not only in contradiction to NI Executive policy but are likely to make implementing policy and achieving targets even harder in the near future.

You can find contact details for MLA's here.