Tory leadership contender David Davis has promised to revolutionise the role of the voluntary sector if he wins the leadership contest and goes on to become Prime Minister.
During a speech last week at a meeting of Kent Conservative councils, Davis said the welfare state was failing people because of the inadequacies of public services, and that charities were much better equipped to address the needs of disadvantaged people.
He criticised the welfare state for being divided into a host of different agencies that endlessly shift responsibility between themselves.
"The voluntary sector has a far greater ability to take a holistic approach and to take responsibility for the problems of the whole person," he said.
His vision is that voluntary sector agencies would complement statutory agencies rather than replace them. A spokesman later said the idea was for charities to receive a portion of the funding usually reserved for state bodies.