The Cabinet Office website today is proclaiming that the National Citizenship Service will spend £200M and reap rewards **for communities** to a value of £400M BUT only 0.15% will be from volunteering hours (£600k) and the rest from “projected increased earnings”.
Now unless the other 99.85% of the value is coming straight from future NCS participants’ tax into the public purse and straight back into communities then the government should stop saying that there will be “£400 million in benefits to communities”!
How do they justify this?
And all this after the Education Select Committee stated that it “cannot support” 6-week flagship programme in current form as costs may exceed entire public spending on youth services. The money for NCS may not be coming out of youth services’ funding but it is money that could be used to better support existing, proven and struggling youth services as they are being decimated up and down the land.
Lastly, even if it wasn’t that the figure of £400M was fabricated to nefarious ends, NCS offering up to 2x ‘social return on investment’, or SROI, is nothing special (NB. Sorry, not social return – private return). Other youth work has been calculated to give three times or six times SROI (see here).
It would be nice to have some explanation on these points from the Cabinet Office or Tim Loughton should they be available for comment…!