Better support for charities and social enterprises that help employ people with learning disabilities is vital to promoting inclusion in the workplace and in society as a whole, Greens’ Co-leader Robin Harper MSP will say today. Mr Harper will give a speech at the opening event of Inspire’s new facility on Aberdeen’s Beach Boulevard, the Boulevard Project, a multi-million pound project to help people with learning disabilities find work. (1)

He said, “Despite an agreement and commitment from the Scottish Executive and HM Treasury, many charities in Scotland are finding it difficult to get full cost recovery from services that they provide directly to the public, this is very unfair and is making it difficult for some charities to survive. (2)

“The Inspire project is going to be critical to ensuring inclusion in the workplace for people with learning disabilities, many of whom will be looking for employment in charities and social enterprises that are still struggling because local authorities are not paying fairly for the services they provide. Only one in 20 people with learning difficulties have access to work. Surely as a society we can do better than that. Meaningful work is the best way to provide people with a sense of dignity, confidence and self worth and to give them the opportunity to learn and develop useful skills.

“I commend Inspire for giving people with learning difficulties that vital bridge from being incapacitated by society’s attitudes to being able to enjoy the same privilege that the rest of us have, working with other people.”

Mr Harper, Rector of Aberdeen University, also paid tribute to the very generous gift of £2,500 to Inspire from the Aberdeen University Students’ Association charity fundraising awards and said how impressed he was by the work of the students, the record sum of money they collected (£50,000 in 2005/6) and their decision to give one of their biggest disbursements to Inspire.


1. See http://www.inspireonline.org.uk/main/home/

Mr Harper will make the speech at the Beach Ballroom, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen at 4pm.

For more details of the project see http://www.learningdisabilities.org.uk/profilenews.cfm?pagecode=ISEEEMLN&areacode=ld_employment_news&id=9451

2. Draft text of motion being lodged in Scottish Parliament by Robin Harper MSP:

Full Cost Recovery

That this Parliament endorses the decision of HM Treasury and the Scottish Executive to approve the principle of Full Cost Recovery in the estimates for the funding of local authority and state funded charities delivering services for public authorities, acknowledges the difficulties being caused for many charities through not being able to obtain full cost recovery for critically important public services that they deliver, and calls upon local authorities and the Executive to fully implement the policy of Full Cost Recovery in the interests of all those people who receive help and assistance from publicly funded charities in Scotland.

Full cost recovery (extract from http://www.socialeconomyscotland.info/content/408.asp#17, Social Economy Scotland) This is the principle that an organisation recovers the full cost associated with providing a service or other output. The principle of full cost recovery is not new, it is a widely accepted accountancy principle. Full cost recovery is broadly interpreted to mean the total cost of all the resources used in supplying a service, including the direct costs of producing the output, a full proportional share of overhead costs and any selling and distribution expenses. Both cash costs and notional (non-cash) costs should be included, including depreciation, inflation and finance charges.


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