One way of getting people to be involved in the Big Society is to offer tax credits for specific, targeted voluntary or community work or work that enhances the overall look and feel of the place.

Each local authority could create a website with a list of work that needs to be done, where and when to meet and what any particular type of work entails.  On the website you can register for any particular type of work using your national insurance number.

The work would need to be organised into group details with someone to oversee from the local authority to ensure best practice and quality standards.

This could be anything from picking up litter in a designated area, to scrubbing off graffiti, painting a fence or helping out at community centre.  In short anything that requires labour and contributes something positive to our surrounding community.

Each number of certified hours 'worked' by a volunteer is graded and logged (grading is necessary to ensure quality of work) and at the end of each year the number of hours worked is added up giving a tax credit to that individual.

The credit should be big enough to entice people in but not so big that people try to abuse the system although that will probably always happen.

Why is this idea important?

I think the Big Society is a good idea but its going to be difficult to get people involved without an incentive of some type.

This idea brings the community together and allows work to be done to better the area we live in that would otherwise not get done because the local authority cannot afford to do it and people are not minded to take it on themselves.

Having contributed to the betterment of a particular area perhaps the community as a whole will feel more of a collective responsibility to keep it better and even improve on it.

As the implications of government cuts bite, people will have less money, the local authorities will have less money, our taxes will rise and our communities require evermore maintenance.

This gives the population at large a chance to reduce their tax burden in return for services that will directly benefit their community.  Britain gets fixed on the cheap!

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