Saturday, 19 January 2013

Social cleansing in the UK continues to work.

To think that this government 'condemns ' Atos for ill treating disabled people,  knowing they are going to die,  but will one single criminal charge be made?  Will the contract be terminated?  If something drastic is not done then our government is effectively allowing these people to die. They're just being paid to open their mouths and 'condemn ' Atos.

Government's cuts increasing poverty

Corporatisation and privatisation of government continues

New arguments and reasoning to close A&E

USA beginning to order 'self determined' UK to stay in the EU

The possibility of a USB Key to replace the need for passwords on the internet

More 20mph speed limits, more traffic calming and more cameras

Some wonderful photos captured during the heavy snows

Mortgage rates at 4 year high despite lowest Bank of England base rate

No common sense : parking fine issued to car on its own drive

So do all three major political parties want to stay in EU?

The adulteration of our children

Lady challenges historian over impact of immigration, on Question Time

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Doubts over published number of new jobs under this Coalition

EU says large companies making redundancies must help those affected get redeployed

2 European Human Rights Judges speak out for Christians

Christians' rights trampled on by 'obsessive political correctness', say dissenting European judges

Christians’ rights of conscience are being sacrificed on the altar of “obsessive political correctness” contrary to the values of a democratic society, two European human rights judges have claimed.

They likened the treatment of a London marriage registrar, who asked not to carry out civil partnerships because of her beliefs on homosexuality, to conscientious objectors of the past who suffered “at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition or a Nazi firing squad”.
The claims were contained a vocal dissenting judgment by two of the seven European Court of Human Rights judges who sat in a landmark case on religious freedom in Britain.
In an eagerly anticipated ruling, the court in Strasbourg upheld the right of workers to wear crosses as a visible manifestation of faith – as long it does not fall foul of health and safety policies.
It concluded that the UK had failed to protect the rights of Nadia Eweida, a British Airways check-in clerk who was sent home because the small cross she wore contravened the airline’s uniform policy – a policy which has since been changed.
But it rejected claims by three other Christians who said that their right to religious freedom had been ignored.

They included Shirley Chaplin, a nurse from Exeter, who was forbidden from wearing a cross at work on "health and safety" grounds.
The court also threw out challenges by two Christians who lost their jobs for taking a stand on what they saw as a matter of conscience.
Gary McFarlane, a former Relate counsellor, and Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar from Islington, north London, both resisted performing tasks at work they believed would amount to condoning homosexuality which they believe is against the teaching of the Bible.
Miss Ladele asking to be excused from conducting civil partnership ceremonies and Mr McFarlane indicated he would be uncomfortable providing sex advice to a same-sex couples on account of his beliefs.
The court said that where there is a clash of rights – such as between freedom of conscience and protecting gay people from discrimination – states should have a “wide margin of appreciation” to strike the balance.
It found that the British courts had not acted beyond this margin in rejecting legal challenges by the pair.
Employment lawyers claimed it meant Christians could now be “lawfully excluded” from some jobs.
Paul Lambdin, a partner at Stevens & Bolton said: “Those with religious faith will take scant comfort from the ECHR's decision to allow the wearing of a religious symbol at work (when there is no health and safety risk).
“It appears that those Christians, Muslims and others who disagree with same sex marriage and/or civil partnerships will be excluded from certain jobs.
“These cases demonstrate the difficulty of divorcing a belief from its practice.
“The practical effect is that Miss Ladele, Mr McFarlane and others with similar religious convictions may be lawfully excluded from certain jobs.”
Christian campaigners claimed that “millions” of people who hold “politically incorrect” views could now face new restrictions on expressing their opinion.
They argued that the judgment increases the risk that those who oppose same-sex marriage – due to become law later this year – could lose their jobs if they express reservations.
They claimed that it meant that people liable to express traditional views on marriage would be unofficially barred from working as teachers, council staff and hospital chaplains or acting as foster carers in some cases.
Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, which supported Miss Ladele, said: “Christians with traditional beliefs about marriage are at risk of being left out in the cold.”
Andrea Williams, whose Christian Legal Centre backed Mr McFarlane and Mrs Chaplin, added: “This judgment will make it increasingly difficult for Christians to participate fully in society."
But Keith Porteous Wood, executive director of the National Secular Society, said: “If they had won these cases, it would have driven a coach and horses through the equality laws.
“The rights of gay people to fair and equal treatment would have been kicked back by decades.”
Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain, of the Movement for Reform Judaism, said: "This has been a victory for common sense, allowing freedom of religious expression, but not at the expense of other people's rights."
The court rejected Miss Ladele’s case by a majority of five to two.
In an annexe to the main ruling, Judges Nebojša Vučinić and Vincent De Gaetano, issued a scathing rejection of the reasoning behind the decision as “at best irrelevant and at worst a case of inverted logic”.
They said Miss Ladele was a “genuine and serious” conscientious objector whose freedom of conscience the state “is obliged to respect”.
“Freedom of conscience has in the past all too often been paid for in acts of heroism, whether at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition or of a Nazi firing squad,” they said.
They said her case was that she was a victim of “back-stabbing” and “blinkered” thinking by the council adding: “Instead of practising the tolerance and the ‘dignity for all’ it preached, the Borough of Islington pursued the doctrinaire line, the road of obsessive political correctness.
“It effectively sought to force the applicant to act against her conscience or face the extreme penalty of dismissal – something which ... cannot be deemed necessary in a democratic society.”
Miss Eweida said her victory meant that “Christians can hold their heads up high and wear their cross without recrimination or retribution from their employer”.
But she added that she “gutted” for Shirley Chaplin and “mystified” at what the difference between their cases was.
Mrs Chaplin warned David Cameron against a “broken promise” as Downing Street signalled that a change to the law to protect the right of workers to wear crosses is now unlikely despite the ruling against her.
“I still expect David Cameron to change the law and anything else would be a broken promise,” she said.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission urged the Government to continue looking at the need for a change in the law and said the differing decisions in the two cases left employers and employees alike facing “confusion”.
It is planning to issue to guidelines on crosses to avoid any more “divisive, lengthy and expensive court cases”.

Other articles:
  •  Christians face 'lawful exclusion' from jobs despite cross victory 15 Jan 2013

  •  Church teaching on homosexuality 'is like justifying slavery', says evangelical leader 15 Jan 2013

  •  Civil partnership recognised as 'marriage' for first time 09 Jan 2013
  • 1,500 foreigners in our prison who cannot be sent home even though their sentence is spent

    Egypt President and Muslim Brotherhood want to destroy Jews

    By God's Grace and His Son Jesus, may such autrocity never come to pass

    From the Daily Mail:

    White House condemns anti-Semitic speech by Egypt's Morsi that called Jews 'descendants of apes and pigs'

    Anti-semitic comments by the Egyptian president have been strongly condemned by the White House.
    Mohammed Morsi described Jews as ‘descendants of apes and pigs’.
    The Muslim Brotherhood leader is also reported to have asked Egyptians to ‘nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred’.
    In other comments, he said Zionists are bloodsuckers who attack Palestinians, and are related to apes.
    The remarks were made three years ago but have only now emerged.
    President Barack Obama’s White House spokesman Jay Carney said: ‘The language that we have seen is deeply offensive.
    ‘We completely reject these statements, as we do any language that espouses religious hatred.
    ‘This kind of discourse has been acceptable in the region for far too long, and is counter to the goal of peace.’
    Morsi’s remarks and the Obama administration’s rebuke marked a new point of tension in the complex relationship between the U.S. and Egypt’s fledgling democracy.
    Since being elected in June of 2012 in the aftermath of the revolution that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak, Morsi has promised to abide by Egypt’s decades-old peace treaty with Israel.
    Morsi was also instrumental in facilitating a ceasefire in November between Israel and Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip, despite his refusal to speak directly with Israeli officials.
    But despite this there are fears that Morsi may prove to be a radical Islamist. He has already provoked a war with more democratic elements within Egypt over a new constitution which grants him far-reaching powers.

    Significant expansion of villages required to solve housing crisis

    All NHS records and communications could be electronic by 2018

    How throwing a snowball in County Durham could be a crime!

    Tuesday, 15 January 2013

    Cameron appears to be moving towards allowing us to exit the EU

    More elderly people paying for their care

    Religious symbolism is all but the lowest right; religious conscience has no rights.

    By 2014 you may be able to send money by text

    Facebook creates application which searches for all details of people on internet

    French send more troops to Mali against Islamists

    Jeremy Hunt values Life, NHS values something else

    "Doctors are refusing to test for dementia because they think it is pointless while no “cure” is available, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says. "

    Liberals do not want EU referendum

    The first library with no printed books : just computers.

    Liverpool Care Pathway : appears government will still keep it

    It would appear that the Liverpool Care Pathway will remain so long as suffering is kept to a minimum. So it would appear that doctors may still end up being incentivised to end care for those they believe will die, so long as they let them die kindly. The aims and objectives of the NHS have effectively changed. So long as euthanasia is done pseudo-compassionately it will be OK.

    "Mr Lamb, who has commissioned a review of the pathway, said payments should be made only if it can be demonstrated that individual patients have experienced reduced suffering as a direct result of being placed on the LCP."

    So our doctors and nurses will be like will ticklers! And such patients will be dead! So how will such patients say they have reduced suffering?  How can they compare being dead to being alive?

    It would appear that the LCP is here to stay, just that the NHS will get more sophisticated at being pseudo-compassionate.

    Unless they accept gay marriage, Churches may be banned from using public facilities

    Eric Pickles determined to protect faith in our society

    Teachers traditional pay rises to be replaced with performance based pay

    HMV in administration

    Monday, 14 January 2013

    Samsung phone sales doing very well

    Windows 8 sales not as good as planned

    Incoming Archbishop determined to ensure banking sector serves the public

    Apple iPhone 5 not selling as well as planned

    An average of 8 years for first time buyers to save for a deposit on their home

    How wonderful : Couple decide to continue with pregnancy of their unborn disabled child

    From :

    A mother was unable to abort her severely disabled son despite doctors' warnings after seeing her baby's smile in a 3D scan picture.
    Katyia Rowe was told her baby's brain had not formed properly and that he would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care.
    But after seeing real-time moving scans of him smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms she made the heartbreaking decision to go through with the birth.
    Tragically Lucian, as she named him, died nine hours after he was born.
    Mother Katyia Rowe gave birth to her severely disabled son Lucian, despite doctors advising her to have an abortion, after seeing a 3D scan of him smiling, pictured
    Mother Katyia Rowe gave birth to her severely disabled son Lucian, despite doctors advising her to have an abortion, after seeing a 3D scan of him smiling, pictured
    Despite the ordeal, Ms Rowe said she had no regrets going through with the birth as she was able to cuddle her baby son.
    Katyia, 26, a training administrator, said: 'We were devastated to be told our son’s brain abnormalities were so severe they were life limiting we should consider a termination.
    ‘Further scans were arranged to asses the extent of his disabilities but when I saw him smiling and playing inside me I knew I couldn’t end his life.
    'If he could smile and play and feel then despite his disabilities he deserved to enjoy whatever life he had left, no matter how short. Just because his life would be shorter or different, didn’t mean he didn’t deserve to experience it.
    ‘As long as he was pain free I vowed to let him enjoy his life both while inside me and outside, no matter how long that be.’
    Miss Rowe, from Telford, Shropshire was thrilled to discover she was expecting a baby with partner of four years security officer Shane Johnson, 26, in March last year.
    She added: ‘It was a shock but we were thrilled. Shane and I were so excited and looking forward to the birth. We had so many plans for the future and could not wait to meet our baby.
    Katyia Rowe and her partner Shane decided to have the baby despite the complications, saying the child deserved to live
    Katyia Rowe and her partner Shane decided to have the baby despite the complications, saying the child deserved to live
    ‘Our first scan at three months was wonderful. When we saw our baby on screen for the first time we fell in love straight away. As far as we were concerned everything was perfect.’
    The couple decided to wed when their son was old enough to walk down the aisle with them.
    Only the 20-week scan highlighted complications.
    Following further tests, doctors told Miss Rowe and her partner of four years that their baby's brain had no formed properly and he would be severely disabled.
    They were then told the tragic news by experts at Birmingham Children's Hospital that their child would never walk or talk and would need 24-hour care.
    The couple were offered the chance to terminate the baby at 24-weeks.
    But despite his poor prognosis, being able to watch her son in real time 3D scans during the screening tests, Miss Rowe said she was astonished to see him smiling, blowing bubbles, kicking and waving his arms.
    She said: ‘Despite all the awful things I was being told, while he was inside me his quality of life looked to be wonderful and no different to any other baby’s, he was a joy to watch.
    ‘I was told he would never walk or talk yet the scans showed him constantly wriggling and moving.
    ‘As I watched I knew that while I was carrying him he still had a quality of life and it was my duty as a mother to protect that no matter how long he had left, he deserved to live.’
    The couple pictured together in the room that was decorated for their baby boy Lucian. Tragically he died nine hours after his birth
    The couple pictured together in the room that was decorated for their baby boy Lucian. Tragically he died nine hours after his birth
    Katyia was told if her son survived birth he would require 24 -hour care for the duration of his life expected to be anything up to five years.
    She added: ‘It didn’t phase me at all. It was ironic because I had never considered myself particularly maternal but now I wanted nothing more than to care for my son and give him the best quality of life possible. I was more than happy to dedicate my life fully to his care.
    Katyia Rowe who went through the birth of her baby, pictured in a frame, and said she didn't regret her decision
    Katyia Rowe who went through the birth of her baby, pictured in a frame, and said she didn't regret her decision
    ‘I researched all his disabilities to prepare myself fully for his needs. I never had a moment of doubt. I only had to look at the scan pictures of him enjoying life in the womb to know I was doing the right thing by giving him a chance.
    ‘Not knowing how long he would live meant we were determined to enjoy him for as long as we could. We learned he loved the shower and would kick when I sprayed the water on my tummy.
    ‘As he grew bigger I could see his little feet and hands prodding through my bump when he wriggled. He may not have been born but he was already our son and I took each movement as a sign we had done the right thing.
    ‘I would talk to him and play him music because I wanted him to experience as much as possible.’
    Because of her son’s disabilities he couldn’t swallow the amniotic fluid surrounding him meaning Kaytia had to undergo painful draining procedures for the last nine weeks of her pregnancy.
    She said: ‘It was agony and I knew some people questioned if it was worth putting myself through all this for a severely disabled baby that may not live for long.

    ‘But I never ever thought like that. As a mother you will do anything for your child and for me I became a mother as soon as I fell pregnant, that job had started already.’
    And for Katyia the rewards for her pregnancy were she says the most joyful and fulfilling nine hours of her life – the time she spent with her son.

    ‘It was without doubt the happiest moment of my life. Lucian could have died at anytime in my womb but he held on long enough for us to meet properly.'

    - Mother Katyia Rowe
    He was delivered after being induced when her waters went on October 23rd last year at the Royal Shrewsbury hospital and as expected was rushed straight to special baby care for his condition to be assessed.
    She says: ‘I was prepared not to be taking our baby straight home like all the other new parents, but beyond that I didn’t know what the future held.’
    But shortly after the birth midwives burst into the delivery suite and warned Katyia her son had just minutes to live.
    She says: ‘I was shocked but we had already decided that after his birth we would let Lucian lead the way. I didn’t want him given any unnecessary treatment if ultimately it wouldn’t help him.
    'He had already given me the greatest honour of being his mummy for the last nine months. It was up to him now if he was ready to go.’
    Katyia rushed to his side and finally the son she had nurtured for nine months was placed in her arms.
    She said: ‘It was without doubt the happiest moment of my life. Lucian could have died at anytime in my womb but he held on long enough for us to meet properly.
    ‘My son looked utterly perfect.

    ‘The love and joy I felt the moment they put Lucian in my arms told me it had all been worth it.’
    She added: ‘I thought I didn’t want to be a mother but Lucian taught me it is the most wonderful job in the world and I will always be grateful for that.’
    Before his death he was held in his mother's arms and he even met his grandparents.
    To donate to charity Sands in Lucian's memory visit here.

    How some in government want England to become a drug dealer

    Facebook sees use drop significantly in December 2012

    Cameron to give EU speech on Friday

    World food poverty and resulting death sadly predicted to worsen

    Companies providing NHS services may be exempt from corporation tax

    Will this pave the way for a new form of organisation? What might its consequences be?

    Charities don't pay corporation tax either, but they are not profit driven.

    Jaguar to create 800 jobs

    More evidence of a Police State : HMRC increases its snooping

    Number of policemen continues to decrease

    Housing market to come under more pressure as more immigrants come our way

    Labour won't give us an EU referendum; but will the Tories?

    Police State type fines over rubbish to be scrapped

    UK map of loneliness to be drawn up by Department of Health

    More MPs want to decriminalise all drugs

    Do we honestly think Prince William will be Defender of the Faith?

    The love of money

    How to make a fortune without virtually any effort.

    Our politicians are all but puppets to the EU and how they do not work as a team

    The BBC Newsnight confirmed this a few days ago : in terms of our say in EU, we are subject to the EU and the international corporations.

    Can we stop this rising tide of the poisonous invisible hand of politics?

    Saturday, 12 January 2013

    Rio Tinto may pull out of Madagascar

    Here is the article from the Daily Telegraph

    And below is an excerpt from

    QMM Mine, Fort-Dauphin, Madagascar

    The island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean provides yet another example of Rio Tinto’s apparent disregard for the communities and environment in which it operates.

    Rio Tinto operates an ilmenite mine on the east coast of the island. The entity on the ground

    QIT Madagascar Minerals S.A. (QMM), is a joint venture between Rio Tinto’s wholly owned
    Canadian subsidiary QIT Fer et Titane (80%) and the government of Madagascar (20%). The
    project, which began construction in 2006, has received funding from the World Bank and
    infrastructure support from the government, including a new port. (The World Bank contributed $35
    million to the port and QMM $110 million).

    The mine reportedly contains at least 75 million tons of ilmenite deposits, which are found in mineral sands, and could be operational for up to 40 years.
    Thousands of people have already been affected by the mining operation through displacement,
    loss of lands, disruption to fishing, flooding to agricultural areas and dust pollution over food
    growing and pasture areas, affecting livelihoods and food production. Those who have already
    been displaced have received inadequate compensation, in most cases just one tenth of the World
    Bank recommended levels. Local people have also lost free access to their forest resources, -
    such as medicines and honey, which act as a survival mechanism when crops fail. Many more
    communities and hundreds of villagers are destined to be affected as the mine expands its
    operations into sites along the southern coastline over the coming years, with the threat to local
    customs, culture and livelihoods. These are some of the poorest people on the island, being
    subsistence farmers dependent on the land, and earning less than a dollar a day. The influx of
    workers from elsewhere has increased demand for food and housing, driving prices up beyond
    what local residents can afford.

    The mine has attracted opposition from conservationists since its inception because the mine site
    is located within the last remaining fragments of coastal forest in Madagascar; since this forest
    type is unique to the country – for example, QMM has reported 64 species of endemic flora found
    nowhere else – its fate is considered of global importance.

    Rio Tinto reportedly plans to restore the natural environment once the dredging of the sand is
    complete and has established conservation areas to protect forest biodiversity; however, experts
    have said these areas are too small to sustain the numbers of species currently found in the forest, which will result in a reduction of species diversity.

    Most of the mined areas will be replanted with a fast growing monoculture of hardwood species.

    Are we in another recession?

    Catholic Church confirms Biblical prophecy of persecution

    Housing ladder becoming more difficult to climb

    800 to lose their jobs at Honda

    Apple seeks to quash rumours over cheaper iPhone

    Jessops closes all its stores

    Osborne says EU needs to change otherwise Britain will leave it

    Popularity of social media can come and go in a split moment

    Instagram's use has halved in one month!

    Want to make famous people richer?

    In this article Facebook is to trial a service where you pay to send famous people a message in return for a fee.

    Library asks children their sexuality and if they had a sex change

    National Insurance contributions to increase to cover cost of flat rate pension

    Friday, 11 January 2013

    Good! Pregnant mentally ill lady allowed to give birth

    More cities where white British are a minority

    16% more university students get firsts

    UK has 600 unborn children killed each day

    This article is about abortion based on sex of the child, but it also sets out how many unborn children are killed each day.

    Estimated 500,000 women per year sexually assualted in the UK

    Much of the world does not want us to hold an EU referendum

    This government has set up almost 1,000 reviews with almost a third unfinished

    Is punishment a diminishing part of dealing with criminals?

    Many hospitals failing to treat severe illnesses

    Liam Fox, former Defence Secretary, to vote against same sex marriage

    Thursday, 10 January 2013

    Samsung flexible mobile phone unveiled

    Tescos does very well over Christmas

    Tories want to continue privatising education

    I am becoming concerned that Tories have this belief system that companies can do everything : run prisons, run probation services, run hospitals, now run schools. Is there anything companies are not good at? What next : a new PLC party will be governing our nation! Remember in a competing world, the people will be minded to elect best PLC. Let the hidden hand operate in our politics.

    What is it that as soon as an organisation whose interests change from serving the public to serving shareholders, that the public is better served? 

    Net number of prison places to fall

    7 prisons with 2600 places are to close, whilst a prison with 2000 places is to open, with a net fall of 600 places.  So expect the Ministry of Justice to come up with further laws to reduce the number of people in prison.

    Will Coalition publish review of how they've met their pledges?

    13,000 people still have black and white TVs

    Government says we need to build homes on green sites to meet demand

    Conservatives policy is working : more mothers are back in work

    Jessops goes into administration

    Sales fell by under 2% at M&S

    USA doesn't believe democracy is all that good

    The USA doesn't want us to hold a referendum on whether to stay or leave the EU. So the UK, the EU and the USA doesn't want the people of Britain to choose whether or not to have a referendum. But the Falkland Islanders have a right to self determination, or rather that is what is being asserted.

    Wednesday, 9 January 2013

    Probation service to be privatised

    As with the Atos contract for DLA and ESA, watch out for the government not being responsible for any mistakes that the private contractors do, and watch out for the government being farther and farther from the public; after all these services will not be provided by the government or civil servants, but private companies. And watch out for the companies saying we are just doing what the contract tells us to do.

    More people see the Conservative party as nasty

    Tesco involved in reputation management over its investment in coffee chain Harris and Hoole

    Poverty worsening in EU

    Vast international companies want to stay in EU

    Government wants to fine exploitative pub landlords

    Liverpool Care Pathway remains controversial

    Local councils who delay planning applications may be overruled by central government

    Government has missed many of its pledges

    Council parking income up 15%

    Budget iPhone on its way

    Budget stores do well over Christmas

    Federal Europe is becoming more of a reality

    More cuts on their way for years to come

    Government passes bill to cap benefits increase at 1% per year for 3 years

    Proportion of white British people to diminish over time

    Tuesday, 8 January 2013

    Will 2013 be the year of the phone tablet?

    If you don't mind a brick next to your ear! And have space for it in your pocket!

    Leader of the Lords resigns from government

    More speak out about how poorly we care for the elderly

    Doctors want to murder the unborn child of a mentally ill mother

    Proposals to increase number of children childminders can look after

    Standing Tall in our World : Coalition Promises in Mid Term Review

    National Security

  • We will continue to protect the core counter-terrorism capabilities of the intelligence agencies and enable them to deliver against the Government’s national security priorities as set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review.
  • We are investing an extra £650 million over the current Spending Review period in improving Britain’s cyber security. The Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance has published its progress in delivering the objectives of the Cyber Security Strategy and has set out its future plans.
  • We will strengthen our borders with a new Border Policing Command, to ensure that illegal goods are seized, illegal immigrants are dealt with and networks of organised criminals are targeted and disrupted – both overseas and at ports up and down the UK.
  • We will consider the report of the Joint Committee on the draft Communications Data Bill before bringing a new Bill to Parliament.

  • Foreign Affairs

  • We will continue to support the ambition of the Afghan Government to have full security responsibility across Afghanistan by the end of 2014, and will reduce force levels to approximately 5,200 by the end of 2013. In accordance with International Security Assistance Force planning, we expect that UK forces will no longer need to routinely mentor the Afghan National Security Forces below Brigade level by this time. We will have ended our combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 but will remain committed to the continued development of the Afghan National Security Forces, including through our role as the lead coalition partner at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy.
  • We will continue to work with the E3+3 to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
  • We will continue to work with like-minded countries and the UN for a political transition and end to the violence in Syria.
  • We will lead a successful UK G8 Presidency in 2013, focusing on the development of open economies, open governments and open societies.
  • We will strongly support further EU enlargement to the Western Balkans and Turkey, subject to rigorous conditionality.
  • We will intensify efforts to support the development of effective democratic institutions in Egypt and Libya.
  • We will press on with the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict initiative, deploying staff from our 70-strong team of doctors, psychologists, forensic experts and lawyers into conflict areas to support justice for survivors of rape as a weapon of war.
  • We will continue to insist on the right of self-determination for the people of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands and respect the result of the planned referendum in the Falklands next year.

  • Defence

  • We will publish a 10-year equipment plan, to equip our Armed Forces with new aircraft carriers, new destroyers and frigates, the joint strike fighter aircraft, new refuelling, transport and reconnaissance aircraft, new armoured vehicles, new helicopters and a renewed nuclear deterrent.
  • We will invest £1.8 billion over the next 10 years to increase the size and capability of the Reserves.
  • We will provide an extra £100 million for 2013/14 to improve service accommodation.
  • We will remove a further 7,000 MOD civilian staff by 2014.
  • We will plan to achieve non-front-line savings of more than £4 billion by 2015.
  • We will secure receipts of at least £1.8 billion over the next 10 years through the sale of excess land.
  • We will complete and publish the review of alternatives to Trident.
  • We will distribute £35 million in fines for LIBOR manipulation to service personnel and their families through the Armed Forces Covenant and Forces charities.

  • International Development

  • We will deliver our commitment to increase aid to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income from 2013, and will enshrine this commitment in law.
  • We will provide access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene for up to 60 million people.
  • We will stop 250,000 babies dying unnecessarily.
  • We will support 11 million children in school – more than we educate in the UK, but at 2.5 per cent of the cost.
  • We will vaccinate more children against preventable diseases than the whole population of England.
  • We will save the lives of 50,000 women in pregnancy and childbirth.
  • We will support 13 countries to hold free and fair elections.
  • Building a Better Society : Coalition Promises in Mid Term Review

    Families and Children

  • We will, for the first time, ensure that all 2 year olds from low income households can access 15 hours per week of early education – starting with the poorest 20 per cent in 2013 before extending it to 40 per cent in 2014.
  • We will implement our named midwife policy.
  • We will legislate to promote shared parenting and flexible parental leave during the first months of a child’s life.
  • We will make it easier for loving parents to adopt children.
  • We will issue revised statutory guidance on child protection to free up professionals, slash bureaucracy and refocus the attention of children’s services on the needs of children, in line with the recommendations of the Munro Report.
  • We will reform family law to reduce delays in care proceedings and to reinforce the principle that a child benefits from the involvement of both parents, provided that it is safe and in the best interests of the child.
  • We will ensure that 4,200 extra health visitors are in post by April 2015.
  • We will, in line with the Coalition Agreement, ensure that provision is made for Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain on proposals to introduce transferable tax allowances for married couples.

  • Pensions and Older People

  • We will continue to roll out automatic enrolment into workplace pensions to help people make proper provision for their retirement, while ensuring that small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) are not required to start enrolling employees until 2015.
  • We will take forward legislation to put public sector pensions on a fair and affordable footing.
  • We will put in place a new mechanism to ensure that the state pension age reflects future changes in life expectancy so that the state pension system continues to be sustainable and affordable.
  • We will continue to protect the state pension through the operation of the triple lock guarantee for the duration of this Parliament.
  • We will continue to keep our Coalition Agreement commitment to protect key benefits for older people throughout this Parliament.
  • We will make it easier for people to use their pension savings by increasing the ‘drawdown limit’ to 120 per cent.

  • Social Action and the Big Society

  • We will train 500 senior community organisers and recruit 4,500 volunteer community organisers in the most deprived communities by 2015 through our Community Organisers programme.
  • We will further encourage charitable giving by distributing the remaining £7.5 million of the £10 million Innovation in Giving Fund; expanding the ‘ATM Giving’ scheme; providing more match funding to new charities and causes; and working to improve and expand Payroll Giving to enable more regular donations from the workplace, with a consultation to be published shortly.
  • We will improve the administration of Gift Aid through the introduction of online filing for claims, expected to be available from April 2013.
  • We will continue to support public sector workers who want to establish mutuals, and provide service commissioners with the information they need to support the creation of mutuals and co-operatives. We will continue to develop ‘Right to Provide’ policies that will enable mutual and co-operative organisations to deliver a wider range of public services.

  • Communities and Local Government

  • We will continue to devolve responsibility to local government and will work with departments across Whitehall to progress Lord Heseltine’s recommendation that local areas should have single funding pots.
  • We will back proposals from Local Authorities to share services and to integrate their services with other local providers.

  • Immigration

  • We will continue to reduce net migration while welcoming those with the skills we need, great business ideas or investments to make.
  • We will continue to encourage the brightest and best experts, scientists, artists and performers from around the world to come to the UK through the Exceptional Talent route.
  • We will not limit immigration by entrepreneurs or high net worth individuals who want to invest in the UK, or by senior executives earning more than £150,000.
  • We will conduct more interviews to crack down on bogus visa applicants.
  • We will place no cap on the number of genuine students coming from across the world to study in this country, but will extend in-country interviews rapidly to crack down on bogus students.
  • We will provide 1,000 places a year for MBA graduates who want to stay in Britain and start up businesses, and allow all PhD students who have completed their studies to stay here for longer (up to 12 months) to find skilled work or set up as an entrepreneur.
  • We will continue to support businesses which use the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer scheme, which businesses tell us is one of the most user-friendly in the world. There is no limit on intra-company transfers.
  • We will keep the shortage occupation list under review with a view to ensuring that employers do not become over-reliant on foreign workers but instead invest in training the resident workforce.
  • We will apply transitional controls to all new accession countries.
  • We will introduce a new ‘Life in the UK’ handbook and test, with British culture and history at their heart, and will also require settlement applicants to hold an intermediate level English language qualification.

  • Equalities

  • We will introduce a bill to allow same-sex couples to marry through civil ceremonies or through religious ceremonies for those religions which want to opt in.
  • We will introduce a system of equal pay audits that will compel companies found to have unequal pay practices to amend their systems.

  • Civil Liberties

  • We will work to ensure that the Defamation Bill, which protects freedom of expression, passes through Parliament and receives Royal Assent in this Parliamentary session.
  • We will legislate to ensure that the security services are properly monitored through increased Parliamentary oversight and that proper balance is struck in trials involving highly sensitive matters of national security.
  • We will consider the report of the Commission on the Bill of Rights.

  • Political Reform

  • We will complete the necessary legal and Parliamentary steps to provide for a legal, fair and decisive referendum on independence for Scotland and work across government to ensure the maintenance of the United Kingdom in that referendum.
  • We will implement the measures in the Scotland Act, respond to the recommendations of the Silk Commission on devolution in Wales and consider the case for devolving corporation tax to Northern Ireland.
  • We will publish a Civil Service Reform Plan ‘one year on’ report. We will publish for the first time a five year Capabilities Plan for the Civil Service to identify which skills and capabilities are in deficit, and how to address these shortcomings; and we will implement rigorous performance and talent management.
  • We will review each public body once every three years to ensure that it can justify to Ministers its existence and structure.
  • We will regulate lobbying through introducing a statutory register of lobbyists and ensuring greater transparency.
  • We will pursue a detailed agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding in order to remove big money from politics.
  • We will bring forward legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10 per cent of his or her constituents.
  • We will establish a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament to consider the proposals in our Green Paper on preventing the misuse of Parliamentary privilege by MPs accused of serious wrongdoing.
  • We will complete the passage of the Electoral Registration and Administration Bill through Parliament early in 2013 so that individual voter registration is in place before the 2015 general election.
  • We will provide for a vote in the House of Commons on the Boundary Commission’s proposals for changes to constituencies.

  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

  • We will achieve universal broadband across the UK, including rural areas, at a minimum speed of 2Mbps by 2015 and improve mobile coverage in hot-spots.
  • We will plant a million trees by 2015 and put English forestry on a more sustainable footing, building on the report by the Independent Panel on Forestry headed by the Bishop of Liverpool.
  • We will implement EU regulations to prevent the trade in illegal logging.
  • We will implement the Biodiversity Strategy and build natural capital through local nature partnerships.
  • We will designate Marine Conservation Zones in 2013 and reduce the regulatory burden of marine licensing while maintaining a high level of protection of the marine environment.
  • We will invest more than £2.3 billion in flood risk management and we expect to exceed our target to improve protection for 145,000 homes by 2015, while also supporting flood-prone communities to access insurance.
  • We will continue to fund a range of projects designed to reduce levels of air pollution in our towns and cities.
  • We will implement a carefully managed and science-led policy of badger control as part of a balanced package of measures to control bovine TB and to support the cattle industry.
  • We will implement the Ash Dieback Control Strategy and consider the findings from the Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce.

  • Culture, Media and Sport

  • We will ensure that the legacy of London 2012 is greater access to, and participation in, sports of all kinds across the UK.
  • We will maintain funding for elite athletes to enable the British Olympic and Paralympic teams to build on their success at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • We will support a new plan to attract and train volunteer Sport Makers to facilitate sport in communities, increasing the capacity to meet the enormous new demand for sports participation from people of all generations.
  • We will work with the Scottish Government to hold a successful Commonwealth Games in 2014.
  • We will continue to work on a cross-party basis towards the implementation of the Leveson Report on press regulation.
  • Improving Public Services : Coalition Promises in Mid Term Review


  • We will increase the value of the Pupil Premium – to £900 per pupil in 2013/14 – while continuing to hold schools to account for what they achieve with the extra money.
  • We will provide a ‘catch-up’ premium of £500 for every 11 year old who leaves primary school below the expected level in English and maths.
  • We will introduce revised Key Stage 2 tests to make sure that no child is failed
    by low expectations.
  • We will invest an additional £1 billion to expand good or outstanding schools, including enough funding for up to 100 new Free Schools and Academies in areas of basic need.
  • We will replace GCSEs with a new, more rigorous qualification.
  • We will restore the reputation of A levels as a world class qualification, working with universities to ensure that students are equipped for university study.
  • We will support more parents, community groups, charities and others wanting to set up new schools, primarily in areas of disadvantage and basic need, while continuing to help existing schools to become Academies.
  • We will implement the recommendation of the School Teachers’ Review Body that teachers’ pay progression should in the future be dependent on performance, not time served, and that schools should have greater autonomy to set teachers’ pay within a broad national framework. Statutory minimum and maximum salary levels for classroom teachers’ pay will be uprated by 1 per cent in both 2013/14 and 2014/15.
  • We will continue to raise the floor target that schools need to meet so that all schools improve with rising national standards.
  • We will legislate for the changes set out in the SEN Green Paper to expand parental choice and control.
  • We will support the establishment of Studio Schools and Technical Academies.
  • We will support Teach First to train 2,000 exceptional graduates per year as teachers by 2015/16. We will also expand the existing model of physics scholarships to other specialist subjects to attract the best graduates into teaching strategically important, but understaffed, subjects.
  • We will reform vocational qualifications at Key Stage 5 to ensure that only the most valued are recognised.
  • We will continue to tackle failing schools head-on by accelerating the Academies programme, and intervening to replace the leadership of weak schools.
  • We will shine a spotlight on coasting schools by giving parents access to improved data on school performance.
  • We will attract and inspire more pupils to study science and maths by increasing the number of teachers with specialist subject knowledge and improving the skills of existing teachers in these subjects.
  • We will work to have an education system that ranks among the best in the world by attracting the most capable people into the profession. We will offer high-achieving graduates financial incentives to train as teachers and will spread outstanding practice across the education system by continuing to expand the number of Teaching Schools, modelled on teaching hospitals.

  • NHS and Social Care

  • We will continue to improve the NHS by:
    • increasing the health budget in real terms;
    • abolishing strategic health authorities and primary care trusts from April 2013, saving £1.5 billion annually;
    • establishing health and well-being boards to bring together local authorities and the NHS to co-ordinate provision of health and social care (we will also transfer £300 million of additional funding from the NHS to social care to develop better integrated health and care services); and
    • investing up to £300 million over five years in specialised housing for those
      in need of care.
  • We will continue to reduce preventable early death by:
    • introducing a new bowel screening programme to reduce incidence of, and mortality from, bowel cancer, saving 3,000 lives a year; and
    • making the UK the first country in the world where doctors will have to be revalidated – a process of regular assessments to ensure that their training and expertise are up to date and that they are fit to carry out their duties.
  • We will continue to improve the standard of care, particularly the treatment and care of people with dementia and other long-term conditions, by:
    • establishing the Friends and Family Test for all hospitals, to ensure that prospective patients can see exactly how previous patients and staff rate quality of care;
    • setting an ambition for the NHS to put mental health on a par with physical health, significantly improving access and waiting times for all mental health services, and reducing the incidence and impact of post-natal depression through earlier diagnosis and better intervention and support;
    • establishing Healthwatch as a consumer advocate with new powers;
    • investing £56 million over four years in children and young people with mental health problems to help transform care in light of the scandalous abuse at Winterbourne View hospital;
    • implementing a strategy aimed at building a culture of compassionate care for nursing, midwifery and care staff;
    • consulting on further measures to protect people who rely on care services where the provider fails in England;
    • introducing a national minimum eligibility threshold to make access to care more consistent across England;
    • introducing a Universal Deferred Payments scheme so that nobody will need to sell their home to pay for the costs of residential care in England;
    • legislating to give people with eligible needs for care an entitlement to a personal budget and a care and support plan in England;
    • working with the Alzheimer’s Society, recruiting 1 million people to become Dementia Friends to improve awareness of dementia and support for those with dementia; and
    • gradually increasing the availability of personal health budgets to increase patient choice and control.
  • We will continue to bring the technology revolution to health and care by:
    • providing £100 million for NHS nurses and midwives to spend on new technology to free up time for patient care and make essential patient details instantly available on the ward. Those organisations that receive positive feedback from patients in the Friends and Family Test will not have to repay any of the loan; and
    • establishing the new 111 service, to provide immediate over-the-phone access to health services.

  • Crime and Policing

  • We will modernise police pay and conditions and implement greater flexibility in the working methods of the police. We have already implemented recommendations from Part 1 of the Winsor Report and will consult on proposals from the review’s Final Report.
  • We will establish the College of Policing in statute as soon as Parliamentary time allows. The interim College came into existence on 1 December 2012 and is already beginning its work of enhancing the professional capabilities of the police.
  • We will take steps, following the Leveson Report, to ensure that the police operate to the highest ethical standards and that the public can have full confidence in police integrity.
  • We will scrap the existing system of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and replace it with a more effective system for protecting the public. In particular, we will give these victims a greater say in what forms of sanction offenders receive out of court through a new Community Remedy.
  • We will legislate to create a new offence of drug driving.

  • Justice

  • We will go further with our Rehabilitation Revolution to reduce reoffending and cut crime.
  • We will legislate to put restorative justice and other ways of tackling low-level crime on a statutory footing throughout the criminal justice system.
  • We will make use of new technology to track offenders in order to protect the public, help prevent further crimes and make a reality of community sentences.
  • We will test weekend and night courts and a range of other measures to speed up justice, based on the success of ‘swift justice’ after the 2011 summer riots.
  • We will continue to work with the voluntary sector to explore the potential for further new rape support centres.
  • We will enable court broadcasting to help to demystify the justice system.

  • Government Transparency and Information Technology

  • We will take further steps to increase the transparency with which politicians report on meetings with senior figures in the media, as recommended by Lord Justice Leveson.
  • We will implement the proposals set out in the Open Data and Transparency White Paper.
  • We will continue to open up government procurement, create a level playing field for open-source software and split large ICT projects into smaller components.
  • We will transition all government departments, agencies and arm’s length bodies onto GOV.UK by April 2014.
  • We will redesign all government transactions (more than 100,000 per year) to make them digital by default.
  • We will make sure that no one is left behind by ensuring there is Assisted Digital provision for those who are unable to use digital services by themselves.
  • We will improve management information, as proposed in the Civil Service Reform Plan, and ensure that it is used as a basis for board meetings, operational decisions and appraisals of senior officials.
  • We will publish data in the Quarterly Data Summaries in a way that is more meaningful to the public.
  • We will continue to push for greater transparency throughout the public sector so that people know what is being done in their name.

  • Fixing the Economy : Coalition Promises in Mid Term Review

    Deficit Reduction

  • We will continue to pursue our deficit reduction plan while protecting vulnerable groups and key long-term investments.
  • Before the summer, we will set out detailed plans for public spending for the 2015/16 fiscal year, in line with the overall path of deficit reduction which we have already set out to 2017/18, to maintain economic stability and credibility, and ensure that we retain the confidence of international markets.
  • Our Efficiency and Reform Group will support Whitehall departments in delivering £20 billion of savings per year by 2014/15 by bearing down on fraud and error, increasing debt recovery to the Exchequer and continuing the evolution towards government as a single customer when engaging with suppliers.
  • We will aim to ensure that 25 per cent of government business goes to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by 2015.

  • Business Enterprise and Growth

  • We will take forward our industrial strategy by publishing specific sector strategies in the coming year.
  • We will further promote the growth of high‑tech industry by:
    • completing the network of ‘catapult’ technology and innovation centres in Cell Therapies, the Connected Digital Economy, Future Cities, High Value Manufacturing, Offshore Renewable Energy, Satellite Applications and Transport Systems; and
    • promoting the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering to reinvigorate engineering in Britain, and working with the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Technician Council to promote engineering as a profession.
    • We will further invest in infrastructure by:
      • expanding our railway programme to create an ‘electric spine’ from Southampton to Yorkshire, electrify the South Wales Valleys railways, establish a western rail link to Heathrow, invest in the Northern Hub and create enough capacity for 140,000 extra daily commutes at peak times by the end of 2019;
      • moving as rapidly as possible towards a national high speed rail network by carrying forward legislation for the first phase between London and Birmingham;
      • accelerating our road building programme: improving the A1, bringing the route from London to Newcastle up to motorway standard; linking the A5 with the M1; improving the M3; and upgrading Junction 30 of the M25 which will support the biggest port development in Europe;
      • upgrading transport in the capital city through Crossrail, Thameslink and by supporting an extension of the Northern Line to Battersea Power Station;
      • supporting the Airports Commission, led by Sir Howard Davies, in its work of identifying the best way of maintaining the UK’s global aviation hub status, as part of a strategy for building cross-party consensus to ensure that the right long-term decision is taken in the national interest;
      • making available debt guarantees to support up to £40 billion of privately financed infrastructure investment;
      • pressing ahead with a series of changes to planning rules and other bureaucratic requirements, to allow faster implementation of infrastructure projects;
      • providing capital for the expansion of good schools, for building new Free Schools and Academies and for improving further education colleges; and
      • auctioning 4G spectrum licences and creating the best super-fast broadband in Europe by 2015, with 90 per cent of premises having access to superfast broadband, and a minimum of 2Mbps available across all of the UK, including rural areas.
    • We will boost the rate of house building by:
      • creating a debt guarantee scheme for up to £10 billion to support increased building of both new affordable homes and homes for private rent;
      • supporting first-time buyers through an extension of the FirstBuy equity loan scheme, as well as continuing to champion the NewBuy scheme to increase the availability of mortgages on new build property;
      • removing restrictions on developers, so that those who can prove that a council’s affordable housing requirements make a project unviable will see such requirements reduced or removed; and
      • bringing more empty homes back into use, supporting the release of public sector land and reducing planning delays in order to accelerate major housing projects.
    • We will further promote regional and local growth by:
      • devolving a greater proportion of growth-related spending to local areas as recommended in Lord Heseltine’s report;
      • pursuing a second wave of City Deals, to give more British cities the power to strengthen their local economies; and
      • investing further through the Regional Growth Fund.
    • We will continue to improve the corporate tax system and provide funding for business by:
      • cutting corporation tax to 21 per cent – the lowest rate in the G7 – by 2014; and
      • fully implementing the Funding for Lending Scheme to get credit flowing into the real economy.
    • We will help small businesses by:
      • reducing the small companies tax rate to 20 per cent, instead of the previous Government’s plan to increase it to 22 per cent;
      • providing a further extension of Small Business Rate Relief from April 2013 to give targeted support and cash flow benefits;
      • providing temporary relief from empty property rates;
      • providing a significant temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance, from £25,000 to £250,000 for two years;
      • creating a Business Bank to bring together support for SMEs and to deploy additional capital of £1 billion together with guarantees that will address long-standing, structural gaps in the supply of finance; and
      • promoting Supply Chain Finance to provide easier credit for SMEs.
    • We will aggressively pursue our deregulation agenda by:
      • moving to a ‘one-in, two-out’ rule from January 2013, having successfully run a ‘one-in, one-out’ rule for new regulations;
      • completing the work of the Red Tape Challenge to remove or improve 3,000 regulations over the lifetime of this Parliament;
      • introducing a binding new code for local authorities which will remove hundreds of thousands of low-risk businesses from unnecessary, regular health and safety inspections and scrapping or improving 85 per cent of health and safety regulations; and
      • implementing the Penfold Implementation Action Plan in full to ensure development is not impeded by over-mighty statutory consultees.
    • We will make further improvements to labour markets by:
      • extending the right to request flexible working to all employees and creating a system of shared parental leave;
      • introducing a new employment status of ‘employee shareholder’;
      • introducing new settlement agreements to provide speedy resolution of workplace disputes without the risk that the offer of such an agreement could be used to bring about an unfair dismissal claim;
      • taking forward many of the recommendations of Graeme Nuttall’s independent review of employee ownership in 2013;
      • reducing vexatious employment litigation by introducing fairer rules for Employment Tribunals; and
      • reforming the operation of Employment Tribunals, as proposed by Mr Justice Underhill.
    • We will further promote exports by:
      • expanding UK Trade & Investment to enable it to: support more SME exporters; provide more intensive support to help UK exporters win high-value contracts overseas; and use private sector delivery partners, such as overseas chambers of commerce, to help exporters and target potential inward investment into the UK;
      • establishing a UK Export Finance £1.5 billion direct lending facility to provide loans to overseas buyers who purchase capital goods and services from British exporters; and
      • pursuing our ambition to double UK exports to £1 trillion per year by 2020 through every means at our disposal.

  • We will legislate to implement the main recommendations of the Vickers Commission on Banking, and have already published draft legislation.
  • We will introduce any necessary amendments to legislation arising out of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, including any necessary new criminal offences and associated penalties.
  • We will promote competition in the high street by making it easier for customers and businesses to switch banks.

  • Personal Taxation

  • We will continue to increase the personal income tax allowance towards £10,000, making real-terms steps each year towards meeting this policy objective.
  • We will legislate for the implementation of a General Anti-Abuse Rule in the 2013 Finance Bill.
  • We will, with further investment in anti-avoidance and evasion activity, aim to raise an extra £2 billion a year, achieving £9 billion more a year by the end of this Parliament. In addition, as a result of the recently announced UK–Swiss agreement, we expect to raise more than £5 billion in additional tax from Swiss bank account holders who are liable for UK tax.

  • Cost of Living and Consumer Protection

  • We will legislate to ensure that consumers get the lowest energy tariff to suit their circumstances.
  • We will introduce a Consumer Bill of Rights to give consumers clearer rights in law and to ensure that consumer rights keep pace with technological advances.
  • We will ensure that regulated rail fares and Transport for London fares do not rise on average by more than 1 per cent above the Retail Prices Index in 2013 and 2014, and will modernise fares and ticketing to give passengers a better deal through greater choice and flexibility.
  • We will empower consumers to make informed choices by giving them access to data collected and held by businesses.
  • We will consider the case for extending the rural fuel discount scheme to remote mainland communities.
  • We will strengthen protection from rogue bailiffs who use unsound, unsafe or unfair methods, while at the same time making sure that debts can still be collected fairly.

  • Jobs and Welfare

  • We will begin the implementation of the Universal Credit with a new ‘claimant commitment’, which will clearly set out the expectations on claimants as well as the consequences for those who fail to comply. This will, for the first time, make job search and job preparation a full‑time activity by default. In the meantime, we have tightened the rules around Jobseeker’s Allowance to ensure that claimants really are actively seeking work and to sanction those who are not.
  • We will provide new work opportunities to young people through the Youth Contract – combining wage subsidies, apprenticeships, work experience and sector-based work academy places.
  • We will introduce the Personal Independence Payment, a new benefit which will be objectively assessed and will enable disabled people to lead full, active and independent lives.
  • We will provide start-up loans and business mentors to unemployed people wishing to set up their own businesses. We have provided funding for around 40,000 businesses to be set up under the programme by 2015.
  • We will continue to support the National Minimum Wage because of the protection it gives low-income workers and the incentives to work it provides.
  • We will continue to keep our Coalition Agreement commitment to protect key benefits for older people throughout this Parliament.

  • Universities and Further Education

  • We will give our world class universities more freedom to compete by giving them more control over the number of highly qualified students they can admit, and we will require the publication of key outcome information – such as destinations, wage levels and student satisfaction – to guide applicants’ university choices.
  • We will ensure that the FE and apprenticeship systems meet the needs of British business by implementing the Wolf reforms and raising standards in line with the Richards Report.
  • We will increase the rigour of FE by reforming qualifications to recognise those of the highest quality – reducing the confusion that is caused by the multitude of qualifications at present.
  • We will introduce, from this August, Advanced Learning Loans for people aged 24 and over.
  • We will ensure that skills provision is more responsive to employer demand and is in line with the long-term vision of key sectors set out as part of the industrial strategy.
  • We will introduce traineeships to support young people into work.
  • We will invest an additional £920 million in UK science research infrastructure, as set out in the Autumn Statement.

  • Energy and Climate Change

  • We will, through a stable levy control framework, treble support to low carbon energy up to 2020.
  • We will implement a gas strategy that gives gas fired power a major future role in our energy mix, legislate for an Emissions Performance Standard, and complete the commercial negotiations for the world’s first large scale carbon capture and storage projects.
  • We will encourage the exploitation of shale gas by developing a targeted tax regime for the industry and by ensuring that regulation is properly co‑ordinated through a new single Office for Unconventional Gas and Oil.
  • We will provide certainty on the tax relief available for North Sea oil and gas decommissioning, enabling further investment to take place.
  • We will keep the Renewable Obligation Certificates regime open for new projects until 2017 and implement our Electricity Market Reform mechanisms to support renewable energy and ensure that Britain meets its 2020 obligations under the Renewable Energy Directive.
  • We will seek to bring forward the first nuclear power stations in the world without public subsidy.
  • We will begin mass roll-out of smart meters in 2014, complete installation by 2019 and work with the national grid to deliver the ‘smart grid’.
  • We will launch the Green Deal in January 2013, including a £125 million cash‑back scheme to encourage energy efficiency improvements by households and businesses.
  • We will continue to support green investments through the Green Investment Bank.
  • We will promote the electrification of the car fleet.

  • Europe

  • We will insist on a tough, fiscally responsible outcome of the negotiations on the next EU seven-year budget framework, continue to make the case for Common Agricultural Policy reform and prevent any changes to the British rebate.
  • We will continue vigorously to defend Britain’s interests in the negotiations on a banking union and protect the competitiveness of the City of London and UK financial services. The safeguards that we have achieved in the initial banking union negotiations set a crucial precedent, and will protect countries such as the UK which are not part of the single supervisory mechanism. In particular, the European Central Bank Governing Council agreed a non-discrimination clause to guarantee the position of countries, such as the UK, that have their own currencies, and it also agreed that voting on key issues in the European Banking Authority will be taken by a ‘double simple majority’ of members.
  • We will publish a series of analytical reports as part of our comprehensive review of the balance of competencies with the EU. The review will conclude by the end of 2014.
  • We will continue to lead the EU growth agenda – with the aim of removing unnecessary regulations particularly for small and innovative companies, deepening and widening the single market and liberalising trade, notably by negotiating a free trade deal with the US.
  • We will work with others to press for changes to the Working Time Directive to reduce its damaging consequences for the NHS, and will insist on maintaining the right of UK citizens to opt out of its provisions.