15 December 2011
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander have given keynote speeches at today's 'Risk and Reward' conference on social impact bonds.
The conference brought together expert speakers to identify the nature of the challenges facing the social impact bond and wider payment by results agenda, and discuss what policymakers can do to overcome them.
Iain Duncan Smith spoke about the Government's Innovation Fund, which will create £30 million of investment over three years for social investment projects, paid on an outcome funded basis. He said that social impact bonds could prove a vital opportunity to get beyond the short termism that characterises many public services, and that payment by results models can be developed that help reduce the risk for small voluntary sector providers to deliver vital services.
Danny Alexander outlined the fiscal case for social impact bonds, saying that "for too long, public service delivery has been trapped in a naïve dogma that the solution was spend, spend, spend."
He outlined the Government's vision "to create nothing less than a new pillar of finance for social ventures. A third pillar to stand alongside traditional giving, and funds from the state."
Other speakers at the event included Toby Eccles (Social Finance), Robyn Fairman, (Westminster City Council), Clare Thomas (City Bridge Trust), Clare Tickell (Action for Children), Dr Emma Disley, (RAND Europe), Nick Temple (Social Enterprise UK), Charlie Green (Private Equity Foundation) and Matt Robinson (Cabinet Office).
The conference was kindly supported by the City of London Corporation.