David Cameron has ambitious plans for a Big Society in the UK. One where we all do our best to help society.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with hopes of such a Utopia the reality could be rather different. One burning question of course is who will foot the bill for any expensive changes?
The Big Society is thought by many in the UK to be a different kind of BS.
Mr Cameron has hardly inspired confidence lately, has he? More often than not fancy named changes are more about cost cutting than making positive changes.
Today April 4, 2012, a new financial institution set up by the UK government to finance charities and community groups has been announced; The Big Society Capital.
This is ironic as the self same government has cut funding to most UK charities causing those hit to struggle to survive.
The BBC reported"Big Society Capital has £600m, of which the majority comes from unused cash in bank accounts that had been dormant for more than 15 years."
Really! Where members of the public consulted on this?
A representative on morning TV claimed that any person wanting to reclaim their funds would still be able to do so. He maintained that this change is still far more generous than in other countries.
However we are not interested in other countries, are we?
This government is always quick to adopt changes from abroad that suit it, whilst resisting ones that could benefit UK citizens.
The BBC report goes on to say "The fund will back social enterprises that prove they can repay an investment through the income they generate. "This is about supplying capital to help society expand," said Prime Minister David Cameron."Just as finance from the City has been essential to help businesses grow and take on the world, so finance from the City is going to be essential to helping tackle our deepest social problems," the prime minister added.
Venture capitalist Sir Ronald Cohen, who is Big Society Capital's chairman, told the BBC that the fund's aim was to create a "thriving market for social investment". He explained that many not-for-profit organisations relied on donations to finance themselves, and were unable to get a normal loan from a High Street bank because they lacked assets - such as property - that could be offered as a security."
In general it seems that this scheme hopes to offer rewards to those have saved the government money.
A former adviser to Gordon Brown said, "I think Big Society Capital is a good thing, but it is a limited amount of money and it is a bit of a drop in the ocean, given what is happening to the sector, with the deficit-reduction programme really hitting the sector" .
"It will mask the real problem; voluntary organisations who really do need grants and won't be able to cope with risk capital."
Time will tell if the Big Society Capital works out well or is simply more government BS.