General Sir John McColl, Chairman of Cobseo, The Confederation of Service Charities, said:
“Recent news looking at Service Sector Charity has made a number of misleading and damaging claims regarding levels of reserves. In line with broader charity sector guidelines on holding responsible levels of reserves, charities should hold a level that means that they can reasonably safeguard against the risks identified by their Trustees within their organisation. At the heart of all reserve policy planning should be ensuring that future beneficiary needs can be met.
“As austerity continues to bite and the tide of governmental provision recedes, Service Charities are constantly being asked to do more and more for the 6 million members of the Armed Forces Community. This increase in demand comes at a time of reduced profile as the Armed Forces are no longer committed to major operations, and the reality is that Service Charity incomes are declining. To meet this demand, charities are prudently using their reserves, cooperating across the sector, and strengthening governance in ways that are unprecedented anywhere else across the charitable community.
“The Service Charity Sector provides essential support to the Armed Forces Community and will continue to do so for generations to come. By presenting a misleading picture of the finances of the Sector, such support can be undermined, which can only logically lead to diminished support available for beneficiaries.”