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Cameron: Social action for social justice in Britain

Comments at the Young Leaders' Academy in Plaistow, east London

"Yesterday, I set out the six big challenges facing our country. These challenges are complex and interconnected. They don't sit inside simple boxes. They need serious, long-term thinking.

So that's exactly what we will do - and the hard work starts today.

Today, I'm announcing my plans for long-term policy development in the first of those six big challenges: social action for social justice in Britain.

For far too long, the social problems which affect people's lives, particularly in our inner cities, have been addressed by piecemeal policies and short-term solutions.

We will take a different approach.

Today, I'm announcing the creation of our Social Justice Policy Group.

It will study the causes and consequences of poverty in Britain and will develop practical ideas to empower the least well-off to climb the ladder from poverty to wealth.

It will examine the challenges facing young people and their parents - focusing on family policy, parenting and childcare, support during the early years and barriers to the fulfilment of teenage aspiration.

A key area of study for the Group will be the provision of new ideas on the treatment and rehabilitation of young people affected by drugs and alcohol.

The Group will consider the care of the elderly and disabled - looking in particular at the quality of care and the financial and other problems affecting carers.

The Group will consider how we can strengthen our society - and will develop ideas to empower the voluntary sector, to foster social enterprise, to increase the scope of community action and to encourage neighbourhood revival.

And the Group will also investigate how to expand the scope and impact of corporate citizenship.

I'm also delighted to announce today the first two members of the Social Justice Policy Group.

The Chairman will be Iain Duncan Smith, who over the past few years has demonstrated an inspiring commitment to this agenda. His expertise and knowledge of the subject, along with the support of his Centre for Social Justice, will provide this Policy Group with terrific leadership.

And Iain's Deputy on the Group will be Debbie Scott, Chief Executive of Tomorrow's People. Tomorrow's People is a national charity with a 21-year track record of success in helping people out of long-term unemployment, homelessness and welfare dependence into sustainable jobs and self-sufficiency.

We will soon be announcing the other members of the Social Justice Policy Group, and more details of how the Group will engage the widest possible audience in finding long-term solutions for the entrenched problems our society faces.

I want our policy development process to be open, transparent and challenging. I want our Policy Groups to be free to think creatively about the vital issues that fall within their remit.

I'm confident that under Iain's Chairmanship and with Debbie's support, the Social Justice Policy Group will make a profound contribution to our agenda for change, optimism and hope.

I am deeply committed to social action for social justice. In the end, the test for our policies will not be how they affect the better off, but how they help the worst-off in our country - empowering them to climb the ladder from poverty to wealth."

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