David Cameron promised to spend his premiership fighting for the Big Society as he declared it his “mission”.
The Prime Minister rejected criticism that the concept was “too vague” and a “cover for cuts”, insisting it was central to the “social recovery” the country needed.
In a speech to social entrepreneurs in London, he said: “This is my absolute passion.
“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 described the Government’s deficit-reduction programme as only his “duty”.
He went on: “What is my mission, what is it I am really passionate about?
“It is actually social recovery as well as economic recovery, and I think we need social recovery because as I’ve said lots of times in the past, there are too many parts of our society that are broken.
“Whether it’s broken families or whether it’s some communities breaking down or whether it’s the level of crime, the level of gang membership, whether it’s problems of people stuck on welfare unable to work, whether it’s the sense that some of our public services don’t work for us, we do need a social recovery to mend the broken society and to me that is what the Big Society is all about.”
He said people needed to “take more responsibility” and “act more responsibly”.
The Government’s response to any problem was only ever “half the answer”, he said.