The Prime Minister has defended his ‘Big Society’ from it’s critics who have claimed it is being undermined by the Governments spending cuts. David Cameron has said it is his ‘mission’ to make the Big Society succeed, and that the social recovery initiative would get all his ‘passion’ over the term of his premiership.
Several charity figures have suggested that the scale of local authority cuts have the potential to inhibit the Big Society’s potential – by the removal of funding to existing voluntary groups. The Archbishop of York warned that investment in public services was essential for the success of the Big Society. However David Cameron argued that the government funding cuts to local government were only returning to a 2007 level. In a BBC interview he further commented that 75% of charities did not get any money from the government at all. He said “I hope that local authorities will be able to work with charities that they fund and work out how best they can handle them”.
The Government recently launched details of a Big Society bank, which will act as a quasi wholesaler. The Big Society bank will instead of giving money directly to the social enterprises or business that have a social purpose, will invest in the funds and operations that make direct investments. £100 million will be available for the Big society bank in its first year, which will come from dormant bank accounts. A further £200 million will be available fro the Project Merlin deal with banks, to support working capital projects approved by the Government.
Date: 1st March, 2011
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