David Cameron’s flagship policy has weakened the voluntary sector, according to a new report.
A new report says David Cameron’s flagship ‘Big Society’ programme has severely undermined the organisations its purported intention was to strengthen.
The two-year audit by Civil Exchange – supported by the respected Joseph Rowntree Foundation – found that the voluntary sector now faces a cut in statutory funding of £3.3 billion between 2010-16, which won’t be made up for by private donations.
And for all the Prime Minister’s promises to get behind those struggling the most – even as his Chancellor’s self-inflicted double-dip recession is announced – it’s precisely those areas and groups which his pet project has failed. The report found:
- 51% of people in the most deprived areas say their neighbourhood pulls together to improve it – compared to 78% in the most affluent
- 55% of 16-24 year-olds say that people in their neighbourhood pulls together, compared to 73% of people over 65
- volunteers are more likely to be middle aged and middle class
- 52% of white people say that many people in their neighbourhood can be trusted, against 27% from ethnic minority backgrounds.
Moreover, small, local voluntary groups suffer an ‘implicit bias’ within government tendering processes – consistently losing out on government contracts to large, mostly private organisations.
You can read the report here.