CUSU in deep with budget deficit

Accounts for the financial year ending 30th June 2015 show overspending of £4,498

Budget budget deficit Cambridge Cambridge University CUSU finance funding pay Student's Union TCS The Cambridge student

It has been revealed by Varsity that CUSU accounts show the first deficit in four years for the financial year ending 30th June 2015, highlighting problematic overspending. 

When contrasted with the previous financial year, the overspending of £4,498 seems exuberant in comparison with the £27,956 surplus recorded the year before, whilst overall spending in 2014/15 rose by 13%.

The report revealed that the biggest increase in spending came from staffing, with the cost of CUSU’s 11 members reaching £49,894 more than in 2013/14, despite an increase in only one member of staff, indicating an increase in pay was a predominant explanation.

Money money money?

It was in 2011 that the CUSU budget reached a deficit previously to this occasion, where they were over £40,000 short. In a quote that was as topical then as it is now, the CUSU coordinator Harriet Flower put the deficit down to student newspaper TCS failing to generate revenue through advertising sales. Surely enough, revenue generated by TCS has decreased by 38% over the past five years, with the decision recently made to cut funding for the print edition.

Despite this decrease, the report has also demonstrated that CUSU income has increased to £55,000 more than the previous year, totalling £752,511.

Concerns have also been raised about the importance of the role of sabbatical officers within CUSU: unusually the report was not signed off by a member of the board of trustees, but by CUSU’s General Manager, Mark McCormack. The reasoning behind this remains unclear.

It is clear that CUSU will have to do some budget re-negotations to try and solve this issue.