News story

PM sets out commitment to Big Society

Prime Minister David Cameron has set out the Government's vision and commitment to the Big Society.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Mr Cameron described the Government’s deficit-reduction programme as his “duty” whereas the Big Society was his ”absolute passion” and his mission in politics.

The PM said:

I think it’s a different way of governing, a different way of going about trying to change our country for the better, and it’s going to get every bit of my passion and attention over the five years of this Government.

Mr Cameron said Britain needed people to take more responsibility. He said government action could only ever be part of the answer to solving society’s problems - and he wanted to make it easier for people to volunteer.

Too many people have stopped taking responsibility for their lives and for the people around them.  Why?

Now I don’t think this has happened because we’ve somehow become bad people. I think at its core, it’s the consequence of years and years of Big Government.

As the state got bigger and more powerful, it took away from people more and more things that they should and could be doing for themselves, for their families and their neighbours. It’s the culture of rules, targets, laws, tick boxes and perverse signals that pay people to sit on the sofa rather than go to work.

Speeches and transcripts: PM’s speech on Big Society

Read more: Big Society (Cabinet Office)

Published 14 February 2011