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Third sector mouthpiece says big society 'has hit the buffers'

Sir Stephen Bubb, the CEO of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations has criticised the David Cameron's 'utopian' Big Society and called for an end to the cuts.

Stephen BubbIn an open letter to the prime minister, Bubb salutes the concept of 'Big Society' for focusing attention on the work of charities and community organisations. But, he wrote, 'I am worried that your great ideal is about to be swamped by a tidal wave of growing needs and rising cuts.'

He says a 'perfect storm that confronts our country’s charities'. He cites: 'Rising costs, higher tax bills because you have raised VAT and are removing gift aid transitional reliefs, on top of swingeing cuts in funding'. 'Is it a surprise that people now see “Big Society” as more a soundbite than a programme for government?' he asks.

He calls on Cameron to reverse the 'rising tide of cuts'. He urges the PM to invest more in the third sector’s 'brilliant ability to provide more cost-effective and citizen-focused public services'. He call for 'a Big Society Bank with billions of pounds, not pennies, to build a resilient charity sector.

'Work with our established sector instead of bypassing and ignoring us,' Bubb pleads before challenging the PM to 'spend a week running one of the country’s top charities confronting the reality of the demands we face in the face of swingeing cuts.

'Big Society is hitting the buffers,' he concludes. 'Rescue it.'

Page created on January 25th, 2011

Page updated on January 25th, 2011