Cost of Living Crisis- Key Asks
Over recent months, NICVA has held several round table discussions with Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector representatives, Minister for Communities and other government officials, and surveyed members, to establish the full extent of the impacts of the cost of living crisis on the sector.
It is clear that the demand for VCSE services is increasing drastically, whilst resources are diminishing, and energy, fuel, and food costs rise.
NICVA has prepared a briefing on the most pressing issues as well as our ‘6 Key Asks’ and is seeking meetings with all Ministers and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to discuss these proposed solutions.
The VCSE cannot be expected to absorb the rise in demand for their services without additional support for both the sector and individuals.
NICVA’s 6 Key Asks
Ask One: All departments to review increasing costs of organisations they grant fund
Increasing cost pressures on public services are being reviewed. Department and public body funded VSCE organisations should be treated in a similar way.
Ask Two: The Minister for Infrastructure to urgently unlock funding for community transport
46% of journeys provided by community transport organisations are health related. Emergency funding to allow these essential journeys to continue
Ask Three: Changes to the benefit system - both urgently and long term
88% of single parent households across the UK with two or more children will fall into fuel poverty. Changes to the benefit system will alleviate this.
Ask Four: An Energy Task Force
NICVA sees an urgent need for an Energy Task Force to tackle poverty caused by the Cost-of-Living Crisis.
Ask Five: Ensure Northern Ireland benefits from measures being put in place for the rest of the United Kingdom
Approximately two thirds of homes in NI use heating oil. It is essential residents benefit from any further energy support offered to the rest of the UK in a timely manner.
Ask Six: Specific funding for charities and voluntary organisations delivering services with increased demand.
Voluntary and community organisations delivering services with increased demand should be offered additional support.
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