Big Society’s verdict on Cameron: Incoherent and unpromising

Alex Hern looks at the results of Third Sector's poll of charities, and finds that they have little confidence in Cameron.


The Big Society is rejecting the coalition’s policy on the charitable sector, according to new survey of the charitable sector from Third Sector magazine.

The survey reveals that:

Only 8 per cent of respondents think the government’s general proposition is “coherent and promising”, and only 12 per cent think the coalition will be better for the sector than another Labour administration would have been.

On the other hand, half of respondents think the cuts affecting the sector would have been made by a Labour government as well, and nearly a third think the big society agenda offers opportunities for the sector.

The magazine also asked charities about specific government polices on the third sector, and found that only two of fifteen named policies had significant support: Allowing gift aid claims of up to £5,000 without declarations and giving inheritance tax concessions for making ten per cent legacies.

This souring of the coalition by charities is not surprising, given the fact that, as we reported yesterday, they are suffering most at the hands of the coalitions cuts:

“The number of people employed in the voluntary sector fell by almost 9 per cent from the third quarter of 2010 and the same period in 2011, equating to a loss of 70,000 jobs, according to figures released today.

“The number of people employed in the public sector fell by 4.3 per cent during the same period, while the figure for the private sector increased by 1.5 per cent”

The full survey results can be found at Third Sector, but the conclusion is clear: Whether or not Cameron believes at all in the big society anymore, it has given up on him.

See also:

• It’s the Big Society that’s being hit by the government’s economics –  Daniel Elton, January 9th 2012

• How Cameron’s coalition is choking the big society – Daniel Elton, November 2nd 2011

• Citizens UK: “The Big Society is flawed if people have to work two jobs” – Peter Carrol, October 21st 2011

• Cameronism uncovered: Taxpayer-funded big business – Daniel Elton, September 12th 2011

• Fears government reforms could create a “big divide” not a ‘Big Society’ – Kamaljeet Gill, July 29th 2011

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