Matt Whittaker, CEO of Pro Bono Economics, said:

“The UK’s charities are essential to solving the major challenges we face as a country today. They are equally pivotal to both Rishi Sunak’s five pledges as Prime Minister and Keir Starmer’s five missions for a Labour government.

"It was encouraging then to hear that recognised by Keir Starmer in his keynote speech today, as he rightly acknowledged that the sector has been ignored for too long by policymakers, amid the competing demands of the state and business.

"The 'Society of Service' vision identified in today's speech marks the first time a political leader in the UK has set out a strategic vision for how the sector can serve as a partner to government since David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ concept in 2010. 

"Importantly, this new vision also recognises the 'essential' role the sector has to play in the country's economic regeneration. Today, the sector is a vital source of jobs - employing nearly 1 million people nationally - and it plays a pivotal role in supporting people back to work and facilitating local regeneration.

“As today's speech noted, charities sit at the centre of everything the nation aspires to – from the health of the economy to the quality of life we enjoy. It is vital then that the government which comes to power following the next general election introduces concrete policies designed to help the sector unleash its full potential.”