Friday, 23 December 2011

Prime Minister's Letter and List of Achievements

All Conservative MPs received the following letter from the PM this week and I have only now had a chance to sit down and read it.
It is good both to show his style but,more importantly, to show what the Coalition is trying to do and has physically done. At a time when some people question what has been done this is pretty impressive list of achievements.
Full letter and achievements is on this link at the bottom below - but here is the list of achievements;
Top achievements in 2011
1. Steering Britain through the global debt storm. The Government’s credible
deficit reduction plan has ensured UK market interest rates on government debt
have fallen to record lows and below Germany’s for the first time in years. Our
country is a safe haven in the sovereign debt storm, keeping interest rates low for
businesses, homeowners and families.
2. Cutting income tax for 25 million people. On top of the rise in the personal
allowance from April this year, the personal allowance for under 65s will increase
by a further £630 to £8,105 in 2012-13. The combined impact of this increase and
the increase announced at last year’s Budget, will benefit 25 million individuals by
up to £326 a year in cash terms and means that a total of 1.1 million people will
be lifted out of income tax altogether (HM Treasury, Budget 2011, 23 March
3. Freezing Council tax for the second year running. Following the council tax
freeze in 2011-12, the Government will provide one-off funding to local authorities
to help them freeze council tax again in 2012-13 (HM Treasury, Press Release, 3
October 2011).
4. Biggest increase in the State Pension since 1948. In April 2011, the
Government introduced its triple lock which ensures that State Pensions will be
uprated by earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent – whichever is highest. This means
that from April next year, the basic state pension will rise by £5.30 per week – the
biggest cash rise since 1948.
5. Cutting fuel duty, saving 10p per litre compared to Labour. We are
cancelling the planned 3p duty increase for January and ensuring fuel duty from
August 2012 will be only 3p higher than it is now. Together with the cut in fuel
duty at the last Budget and the scrapping of Labour’s fuel duty escalator, this
means that from April 2011 fuel duty will be 10p per litre lower than it would have
been under Labour (HM Treasury, Autumn Statement, 29 November 2011).
6. Introducing a permanent levy on the banks. On 1 January 2011 the
Government imposed a levy on the balance sheets of UK banks and building
societies, and to the UK operations of banks from abroad. It is expected to raise
£10 billion over the lifetime of this parliament, raising £2.5 billion a year – more
than Labour’s one-off bonus tax (HM Treasury, Press Release, 1 January 2011;
March Budget, 23 March 2011).
7. Getting credit flowing to small businesses and creating Enterprise Zones.
At the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced the Government’s credit
easing policy to get £20 billion of cheaper funding to small businesses. The
Government’s Merlin agreement with the banks will increase bank lending to
small businesses by 15 per cent this year (HM Treasury, Autumn Statement, 29
November 2011). The Government has also introduced 24 new Enterprise Zones
across the country, including in areas affected by potential job losses at BAE
which will benefit from up to 100 per cent business rate discount, simplified
planning regulations, new superfast broadband, allowing business rates growth to
be retained by the local authority and reinvested in the local area, and the
potential to use enhanced capital allowances with a strong focus on
8. More doctors, fewer managers, less bureaucracy. Since the General Election,
there are now 3,500 more doctors and 5,500 fewer managers working in the NHS
(NHS Information Centre, Provisional Monthly NHS Hospital and Community
Health Service Workforce Statistics in England, 22 November 2011). We are
cutting NHS bureaucracy by £4.5 billion over the course of this Parliament and
reinvesting every penny into frontline patient services (Department of Health,
Health Bill Impact Assessment, 8 September 2011).
9. Better access to cancer drugs. We have introduced a £200 million per year
Cancer Drugs Fund which has already given over 5,000 patients access to the
life-extending cancer drugs they need (Department of Health, Press Release, 27
October 2010).
10. Capping Housing Benefit. We have taken steps to end Labour’s something for
nothing culture by capping Housing Benefit from April this year. This stops the
abuse under Labour where one family alone could get over £100,000 in Housing
Benefit to live in areas that the hardworking families paying these bills could not
afford themselves (HM Treasury, June Budget 2010).
11. Cutting billions in Whitehall waste. In 2010-11 we cut £3.75 billion of central
government waste - £550 million more than expected - including reducing
spending on consultancy; on temporary staff; on marketing and advertising; on IT
projects; on renting property; on major projects; and by renegotiating contracts
with key suppliers (Cabinet Office, Press Release, 1 August 2011).
12. Bringing back the weekly bin collection. A £250 million fund is being provided
to help support councils deliver a weekly collection of household waste and
enable councils to invest in schemes and projects that will benefit the
environment (DCLG, Press Release, 30 September 2011).
13. The largest ever increase in the Child Tax Credit. In April this year the Child
Tax Credit increased by £225 – the largest increase ever. Next April it will go up
by 5.2 per cent, a further increase of £135 (HM Treasury, Autumn Statement, 29
November 2011).
14. New directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners. The Police Reform
and Social Responsibility Act creates directly elected Police and Crime
Commissioners. These will ensure that the police are held to account
democratically at the ballot box, not bureaucratically by Whitehall. The taxpayer
will see better value for money as Commissioners, responsible for precept, will
focus relentlessly on driving up efficiency and shedding bureaucracy.
Commissioners will reinforce the police’s link to the people they serve without
interfering with their operational independence.
15. Many more good school places. The first ever Free Schools – 24 of them –
opened just 16 months after we came to power and by December more than a
thousand schools had become Academies (DfE, Press Releases, 28 August
2011 and 4 October 2011).
16. Tough new powers on school discipline. The Education Act, which received
Royal Assent in November 2011, will help teachers raise standards and gives
them new legal powers to root out poor behaviour. This includes a power for
schools to search pupils without consent for any dangerous or banned items and
the removal of restrictions that prevent schools from issuing detentions to pupils
without providing 24 hours notice (DfE Press Release, 15 November 2011).
17. New Housing programme to help people onto the ladder and get Britain
building. In November 2011, the Government launched its ambitious Housing
Strategy to break the cycle in which the lenders won’t lend, the builders can’t
build and the buyers can’t buy. This will allow those hard-working families who
play by the rules to own a decent home of their own. The Strategy will receive
£400 million of funding and will target those schemes that have stalled through
lack of development finance. This will help to unlock the construction of 16,000
homes and support up to 32,000 jobs (DCLG Press Release, 21 November
18. Standing up for Britain in Europe. The Prime Minister was clear before the EU
summit on 8-9 December that he would protect the national interest. He said we
could only agree a new treaty if certain modest, reasonable and relevant
safeguards were obtained. We couldn’t get those safeguards. A treaty within a
treaty without safeguards wasn’t right for Britain, so we said no.
19. Introduced an EU Referendum Lock. Our European Union Act ensures that in
future the British people will have their say on any proposed transfer of powers
from the UK to the EU. If in the future a change to the EU treaties that moves
powers or areas of policy from the UK to the EU is proposed, the Government will
have to get the British people’s consent in a national referendum before it can be
20. Leading international efforts to support the Libyan people in their hour of
need, preventing the massacre of thousands of innocent civilians by Colonel
Gaddafi and his troops and supporting their wish to elect their own, democratic
government (FCO Website).