• Scotland’s Spending Review – CTA’s Call for Multi-Year Funding

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    • Scotland’s Spending Review – CTA’s Call for Multi-Year Funding
    • by David Kelly
      Director for Scotland

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    The Scottish Government is conducting its first multi-year Resource Spending Review since 2011, with the aim of setting out national spending plans for the remainder of the parliamentary term until 2026.

    Resource spending covers spending on administration and the day-to-day delivery of services and programmes. This includes the Scottish Government’s direct and indirect support for the Community Transport sector, including through the local government settlement, as well as its funding for schemes like concessionary bus travel for older and younger people.

    In common with organisations across the third, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors, national and local government’s annual funding cycles pose perennial challenges for many CTA members. Short-term, small-scale grants and late payments create a lack of financial and planning certainty for Community Transport operators. This can severely impact on passengers and communities; damage the morale, wellbeing and retention of staff and volunteers; and divert capacity, focus and resources from delivering great services and outcomes to chasing funding just to keep the lights on.

    This needs to change. And we’re joining forces with organisations across the third, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors to call for badly needed reform – which the Scottish Government has promised before, but still failed to deliver.

    We’re supporting the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations’ (SCVO) call for all funders to ‘provide funding over a longer-term with positive terms and conditions, such as inflationary uplifts to meet rapidly rising costs, a contribution to core operating costs beyond service and project funding, and the trust and flexibility for organisations to adapt their offers based on changing needs and to maximise the added value of our skills, knowledge, and experience’.

    We therefore welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment in the Spending Review to publish ‘multi-year spending plans in May 2022 to provide stakeholders, delivery partners and organisations and individuals across Scotland with some certainty on which to base their own forward planning’.

    Our submission – which you can download here – calls for the Spending Review to:

    • Deliver multi-year funding of the third, not-for-profit and voluntary sectors from the Scottish Government and local government
    • Deliver adequate, fair and sustainable funding for the Community Transport sector which keeps pace with inflation, contributes to core operating costs and sets flexible conditions
    • Properly fund our sector’s role in the health & social care system
    • Raise investment in a just transition to net zero and our sector’s capacity to increase modal shift

    We’ll continue to press for change in partnership with SCVO during the Spending Review and in our local elections campaign ahead of 5 May. Please join us!

    Let us know what you think of our response or how you’d like to get involved by emailing david.kelly@ctauk.org.

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