Joint NICVA SCVO WCVA Position Statement on UK Shared Prosperity Fund
Replacing EU funds: a common position statement
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) represent over 3,500 member organisations, working to address a wide range of social, economic and environmental issues.
The UK Government’s Internal Market Bill has multiple implications for the devolved nations and marks a significant move towards the recentralisation of power. It gives UK Government new authority to spend in devolved areas, including administering the replacement for EU funding, with no requirement for engagement with the devolved governments.
We collectively believe that our respective nations’ share of the replacement fund should be devolved. Currently, the European programmes are negotiated between each administration and the European Commission. Maintaining the funds at devolved level will enable each nation to shape the direction and management of spend. This will ensure the funding received is used to design and deliver programmes that address the individual disparities in social and economic wellbeing specific to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Taking better account of local need, devolved policy and legislation, and being closer to local communities, will lead to a better fund, and greater success at reducing social and economic disparity across the UK.
The replacement for EU funding – additional shared principles
- Each nations’ share of the replacement fund should be at least at the level of the funding currently allocated, whilst allowing for inflationary increases. The formula to determine this allocation should be transparent, rules-based and driven by need.
- The main aim of the replacement fund should be to address and reduce disparities in social and economic wellbeing within and between places and people.
- There should be compulsory integration of equality and sustainable development drivers to improve the quality of all activity and legacy of the investment.
- A partnership principle to make it compulsory for voluntary and community sector partners to have equal involvement at all stages of programme design, development and implementation.
- The replacement fund should be accessible and incorporate equitable, proportional and consistent rules and delivered by appropriate partners and mechanisms.