David Cameron says it is his “mission” in politics to make the Big Society succeed – amid claims it is being wrecked by spending cuts.
The PM told social entrepreneurs the initiative would get all his “passion” over the five-year Parliament. The government has also set out details of how a Big Society bank to fund voluntary projects will work. Labour leader Ed Miliband said Mr Cameron was undermining his own Big Society concept through spending cuts.
Various charity figures have suggested that the scale of local authority cuts could kill off the idea before it gets going – by “destroying” existing voluntary groups…
The government has also announced details of a Big Society bank, which will use £100m in its first year from dormant bank accounts and £200m from the Project Merlin deal with banks to support working capital projects approved by the government. Among its advisers will be the Labour donor Sir Ronald Cohen.
BBC business editor Robert Peston said the bank would act as a wholesaler – it will not put money directly into social enterprises or businesses with a social purpose but would invest in the funds and operations which make direct investments.
- BBC News
And in other news, the cash for internships scandal begins…
David Cameron was accused of ‘gross insensitivity’ last night after it was revealed that internships with City hedge funds were sold to wealthy Tories’ children for thousands of pounds to raise cash for the party.
At the Conservatives’ Black and White Party, millionaire Tory supporters paid around £3,000 each for their children to have the golden chance of spending a week or two with a number of top finance companies and banks. If they do well and win a full-time job, they could join the ranks of City tycoons who earn multi-million pound bonuses.