Ukip would abolish Cabinet Office volunteering programmes and save the government £500m per year by clamping down on 'fake charities', according to its manifesto published today.
Ukip says it will save £49bn by abolishing "the Cabinet Office's Big Society programme" - believed to be a reference to the Office for Civil Society - and £62m by scrapping National Citizen Service.
Ukip includes a section of its economic policy document published alongside its manifesto, titled ‘Fake Charities’, which draws heavily on a Centre for Policy Studies’ transparency report from earlier this year, Ukip claims that of the 27,000 charities receiving at least three-quarters of their income from government some “spend much of their time and money lobbying government”.
It said it would carry out a wholesale review of government funding for the voluntary sector to clamp down on “fake charities”, predicting that it could save £250m in 2015/16 and £500m in later years. Ukip defines lobbying as “calling for new policies, changes to the law, or increases to their own funding”.
It says that these organisations should instead be classified as ‘quangos’ and that it will “review government payment to these organisations, to asses as to whether it is appropriate to continue such funding”.
It adds that: “Following in-depth assessment of overall donations by government to private charities, savings could be modestly increased if a more stringent approach to fake charities was implemented over the later years of the fiscal plan. A steady evaluation of annual grants should enable changes to funding to be announced so that charities can plan accordingly.”
Ukip would also significantly reduced the overseas aid budget, from 0.7 per cent of gross national income to 0.2 per cent of GNI. This would be phased in a current contractual obligations met.
In its manifesto Ukip has pledged to train 800 advisers to work in food banks.