TSI Scotland Network response
“It’s important to see recognition of the third sector as a key partner in public policy and service delivery within the Programme for Government. What we need to see is greater clarity on how commitments to Fair Work and fair, sustainable funding will be taken forward. The delay in implementing the social care pay increase affects third sector providers directly. The focus on ‘direct care’ could mean that important sector roles working with older and disabled people are excluded from this increase.
For the childcare sector, there are similar questions around what type of role is included and how third sector organisations working with children are affected.
The absence of any reference to the national Volunteering Action Plan is disappointing, particularly when current economic challenges may reduce volunteering participation to the detriment of a range of Government policy priorities that are reliant on volunteers e.g.; the Promise, tackling inequalities.
Whilst it’s heartening to see recognition of the important role social enterprises in the growth of Scotland as a Start-up Nation, it is disappointing to note that their vital contribution to the development of a Wellbeing Economy and Community Wealth Building is not fully recognised.
The cost-of-living impact, inflation and procurement challenges combine to affect the ability of charities, community groups and social enterprises to contribute as fully as we would like to the National Missions of Equality, Community and Opportunity. They also affect our ability to achieve Fair Work practices, with an increasing gap between third and public sector pay and recruitment challenges emerging.
The Network is supportive of other responses to the Programme for Government including those from SCVO, CCPS, the Poverty Alliance and others. The upcoming Budget provides an opportunity to move from the language of partnership, to actions which ensure sustainable funding, fairer procurement and greater parity for the third sector. The TSI Network would like to meet the First and Deputy First Minister as work on the Budget continues apace to explore all of these issues.”
About the TSI network
The TSI Scotland Network is a body of charities that support the third sector across Scotland. There are 32 TSIs – or Third Sector Interfaces in Scotland, one for each local authority area. Some are partnerships working across large urban and geographical areas, some combine all the functions of the TSIs’ work under one roof. They bring together social enterprise support, volunteering services and work with local charities and community groups to continue delivering preventative, local services across Scotland.
Find out more about the Network and contact details for your local TSI here. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.