The debate rumbles on for SIBs and it is interesting to see how the debate develops. On one side there is a fear that making SIB projects too peripheral could make them a political football and endanger their longevity. On the other there appears to be a remarkable desire to defend the status quo intermediaries in the face of this rather revolutionary change.
Having been at the forefront of change in financial markets, this is not a huge surprise as it takes a large impetus to progress the entrenched who don’t wish to change but at the same time the clear core benefits of money being available to improve society ought to win through…but it is not a given!
Here are today’s stories:
The Chronicle Herald
The federal government is introducing an approach to funding social services called Social Impact Bonds. Funds would be raised from investors or charities to finance social programs.
As well, in our most recent provincial throne speech, it was announced that Nova Scotia would be the first Canadian jurisdiction to use Social Impact Bonds. I am concerned about this for different reasons, as expressed by labour and noted academics.
However, my main concern is that this gives governments, especially Ottawa, a way out.
David Cameron’s urbane riposte to Margaret Thatcher was: “There is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state.” In opposition, Cameron envisaged social welfare taken back to the future: instead of the Brownian state agents poking the poor into action, the Notting Hill set saw a Victorian revival with social welfare in the coming decade increasingly localised, voluntary and intimate.
However, the latest report from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations offers a bleak assessment of charities’ future prospects under the coalition. Despite a supposed voluntary sector-friendly public policy environment with the Open Public Services white paper, Localism Act, growing social investment market, Work Programme and now probation being outsourced, the NCVO warns, in Counting the Cuts, that income to the sector could drop 15% by 2017-18 to £11.3bn from £13.4bn in 2010-11.