Voice of Scotland’s charities will be heard in new indy battle


​Scotland's charities will fight for a fairer Scotland in forthcoming indyref battle

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13th March 2017 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

Scotland’s charities will make their voices heard in any potential new Scottish Independence Referendum.

After First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced she is formally requesting another poll on Scotland’s independence, the umbrella body for Scotland’s voluntary groups said it will make sure charities play a “significant” role in the debate.

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) spoke out after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she will next week request the Scottish Parliament ask Westminster for a Section 30 order to allow a new legally binding referendum to be held. 

SCVO director of public affairs John Downie said: “We will work hard to make sure Scotland’s charities and voluntary organisations, and the people and communities they support, are heard prominently as the country moves toward a second independence referendum. Scotland’s third sector turns over £4.5 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations.

“They want to see a fairer, more equal and more prosperous Scotland, so will have a significant part to play in shaping future debate.”

As soon as Sturgeon made her announcement, the first shots were fired in the Indyref2 battle.

Maggie Chapman, co-convenor of the pro-independence Scottish Greens, said: "The combination of the Brexit vote and Theresa May's belligerent stance against Scotland make an independence referendum inevitable. It is clear that case for the union from 2014 was a false prospectus – we are very clearly not better together. The UK is not OK.

“When the Westminster Government threaten to use Brexit to turn the UK into a tax haven, it shows how the prime minister is taking the country in the opposite direction to Scotland. Our vision of an outward-facing, inclusive country is totally at odds with the anti-foreigner approach the UK government is taking."

However, Scottish labour leader Kezia Dugdale countered: “Scotland is already divided enough. We do not want to be divided again, but that is exactly what another independence referendum would do.

“Two years ago, 85% of Scotland’s voters took part in the independence referendum and the result was a clear vote to remain in the UK.

“With our country facing all of the uncertainty around the Tories' reckless plans for a hard Brexit, the last thing we need is even more uncertainty and division.”

How will a second independence referendum affect Scotland's third sector? Should the sector be more involved in the debate this time? Tell us what you think below or complete our poll.

14th March 2017 by Ruaridh McIvor

The third sector, and in particular SCVO, will say whatever is needed to guarantee more funding. Just in the same way private businesses, who drive the economy and provide jobs. Let's not pretend that because charities trade in social impacts that their opinions are worth more.

14th March 2017 by Robert McCall

Spot on Ruaridh. I have commented before about the Scottish Government taking over control of third sector organisations by infiltration. These organisations is actions will, now say whatever Holywood wants for fear of funding cuts. It is not the role of these organisations to get involved in politicsNo poi t in anyone going g to OSCR as their CEO is holding down two jobs, the other one is with the Scottish Government so we know how impartial he won't be