Hertford and Stortford MP Julie Marson has urged the Government to focus on more results driven social outcomes contracts (SOC) when she spoke in Prime Minister’s Questions today.
SOCs or Social Impact Bonds are a type of contract where government investments are subsidised by social investors and delivered by charities or organisations.
Payments are only made once the specified social outcomes have been achieved by the organisation given the contract.
Mrs Marson is a supporter of SOCs and wrote a paper with the Centre for Policy Studies called Getting Results - The future of Social Impact Bonds and outcomes based approaches.
She told MPs: “The UK is the global leader in social outcomes contracts, which can deliver public services in an array of areas, from healthcare to mental healthcare, employment, education and development aid.
“According to Big Society Capital, every £1 the Government has spent in this way has delivered £10 in further economic, social and fiscal value, including £3 in direct savings to government.
“Does my Right Honourable Friend agree that the time is right for the Government to redouble its focus on this outcomes-led commissioning?
In reply Boris Johnson said: “My honourable friend is absolutely right to champion this type of approach, which makes a real difference to people’s lives and people suffering from mental health issues, helping them to find a route back into work.
“That is why we are commissioning more initiatives through funds such as the Life Chances Fund, helping those people in society who face the biggest barriers to have happy and productive lives.”
Speaking afterwards Mrs Marson added: “The recent Outcomes For All report found that £139m invested in 72 social outcomes contracts over the last ten years has generated £1.4bn of fiscal, social or economic value. Around £397 million were direct savings or costs avoided by the public sector.
“At a time when we must look to balance our books and achieve value for the public purse, I believe SOCs are a valuable and effective tool for ministers to use.
I think they can empower local authorities and communities to implement local solutions to tough problems and they will help deliver levelling up initiatives in many areas too.
“I was pleased the Prime Minister was so enthusiastic and I will be pushing for more SOCs to come online.”