Cuts are not undermining the big society, Cameron tells Commons

Prime Minister refutes claims made by retiring CSV executive chair Dame Elisabeth Hoodless

Dame Elisabeth Hoodless
Dame Elisabeth Hoodless

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has denied claims by Dame Elisabeth Hoodless that spending cuts are undermining volunteering.

"I don’t agree with what she says," Cameron said when he was asked about Hoodless’s statements by Labour leader Ed Miliband during Prime Minister’s Questions.

He said the government had put £470m into supporting the voluntary sector and had set up a £100m Transition Fund.

Hoodless, retiring executive director of volunteering charity CSV, said earlier this week in an interview with The Times that the government’s big society agenda lacked a "strategic plan" and was being undermined by spending cuts.

Miliband also questioned Cameron on a comment by Paul Twivy, founder of the Big Society Network, made at an NCVO conference and reported in Third Sector, that the big society was increasingly "loathed" by the public.

Miliband said the Conservatives were "cutting too far and too fast" and that "society is becoming smaller and weaker, not bigger and stronger".

Cameron responded by saying the big society concepts of encouraging volunteering and voluntary sector donations were supported by all members of the House of Commons.

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