Social impact bond market could be worth £1bn, says minister

Social impact bond market could be worth £1bn, says minister

Civil Society, Kirsty Weakley


The minister for civil society wants the social impact bond market to be worth £1bn by the end of this Parliament, Rob Wilson has said.


In an interview with Civil Society News, Wilson defended the government’s decision to focus resources on social investment, despite criticism from the sector.


He said: “We have to make decisions about what we want as a government to prioritise. We need to make sure that charities are not reliant on one source of funding.


Wilson said that SIBs could “revolutionise” the way the sector is funded. 


“Social investment is one of the most important things that this government can do and try and achieve ­ social impact bonds are part of that,” he said.


By the end of this Parliament he wants to create a market for social impact bonds worth at “at least £1bn”.


Funds from Dormant Assets Commission should be available in three years


Wilson also said that he expects Nick O’Donohoe, who has been appointed to run the Dormant Asset Commission to look at ways of unlocking £1bn of dormant assets for charities, to complete the research phase by the end of this year.


It will then be a case of consulting with sectors that could be affected and “looking at any legislation that we need to bring forward”, he said.


“I hope within a three­year end­to­end period we will have done everything we need to do and we will have access to the money.”


Support for delivering public services


He revealed that: “One of the complaints we get more than any other is that about the ability to get involved in delivering public services.”


“My intention is to make some changes this year.”


An announcement is expected in the next couple of weeks.