In response to this mornings announcement by David Cameron of Conservative plans for a National Citizen Service, Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs said:
This is a recipe for a bigger government, not a bigger society. David Cameron is right to point out that the state and society are different things, but his proposals to improve the latter seem to rely on more and more programmes being carried out by the former.
A voluntary scheme to send teenagers away for a couple of months of outdoor activities and community work will do little or nothing to address social problems. Government action tends to have the effect of crowding out the responsibility of parents, familes and local groups.
Politicans should be seeking to cut back on the number of government schemes, not trying to dream up more of them.