Cameron renews big society vows

Prime Minister tells launch of the Giving White Paper that stronger communities and relationships make life worth living

David Cameron (centre)
David Cameron (centre)

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has pledged he will continue to champion his big society agenda for as long as he is running the country.

In a speech to mark the launch of the Giving White Paper yesterday, Cameron said the country had to build a "bigger stronger society" as well as a stronger economy.

"Above all, we must build a bigger, stronger society because, in the end, the things that make up that kind of society – strong families, strong communities, strong relationships – these are the things that make life worth living," he said. "And it's about time we had a government and a Prime Minister that understands that."

He said this was what he was most passionate about in public life and it was what fired him up in the morning. "The big society is not some fluffy add-on to more gritty and more important subjects," he said.

"Is the big society some optional extra? No. It holds the key to transforming our economy, our society, our country's future; and that's why I will keep on championing it and keep on building it, every day that I have the privilege to lead this country."

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, dismissed the idea that levels of giving could not be increased. "Some cynics say 'you can't move the needles'," he said. "We think there is more we can do to shift cultural attitudes and create a step change in giving."

He said three things needed to happen for change to occur: it had to be easier to give, it had to be more compelling to give and charities needed help to present the right opportunities for people to give.

Hurd said the launch of the white paper was just the start of the process. "We have to do what we said we would do, and we have to do more," he said.

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