Mark Drakeford: Welsh Government not the answer for every dilemma
The First Minister has said his government “cannot be the answer to every dilemma that Welsh society faces.”
Mr Drakeford was answering a question about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on third sector organisiations, in the Senedd yesterday (10 January) when he made the comment.
Welsh Conservative Peter Fox MS for Monmouthshire asked: “What support is the Welsh Government providing to third sector organisations to help them through the cost-of-living crisis?
Mr Fox added: “A charity contacted me about the impact of cost-of-living crisis (and said) they are unable to provide additional support to their employees (because) they’ve used the money to expand services rather than help improve staff pay and conditions.”
Mr Drakeford said he recognised the dilemma that Mr Fox raised and agreed that people working in the third sector should be properly rewarded “for their fantastic work … We have increased funding to the sector … most often alongside our local authority partners.”
He added that the pressures on the voluntary sector are “absolutely real” and said: “I’m pleased to say, Llywydd, that the Cabinet committee on the cost of living that met every week in the autumn term had representation from the third sector …”
But, said Mr Drakeford: “Yesterday’s (9 January) announcement by the UK Government of the reduction in support for the third sector in energy costs will mean that there will be even further dilemmas for the sector to bear, and the Welsh Government cannot be the answer to every dilemma that every part of Welsh society faces.”
Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) is the national membership organisation for the third sector and volunteering in Wales.
The WCVA told Nation.Cymru that what the sector needs – from funders and decision makers – is the means to pay their staff more than the Living Wage.
Matthew Brown, Director of Operations at WCVA said: “Voluntary organisations in Wales are hugely important during the cost-of-living crisis.”
But with less money coming in said Mr Brown: “The voluntary sector faces real challenges with rising bills and inflation (at a time) when demand for services is soaring.”
Whilst voluntary organisations, “Will always put the needs of their service users first … supporting their staff through the crisis and retaining their expertise is essential for keeping these services going.”
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