Sunday, July 25, 2021

Delivering on Conservative promises

In some ways it doesn't seem all that long that Boris Johnson has been PM - there was only about seven months of "normal" politics before the pandemic started, not that this period seemed all that normal at the time - but it is two years.

Here is a list of some of the things the Conservative government has achieved in that time

Key achievements include:

  • Rolling out a historic vaccination programme, delivering the long-term protection that has allowed us to unlock our country. Almost nine in ten adults in the UK have now received a first vaccine dose – with almost seven in ten having also received a second dose. Every adult has now been offered a first dose, and by the end of September will also have been offered a second.
  • Getting Brexit done, leaving the EU, delivering on our promise to the British people. We have implemented the decision which the British people took in 2016 and taken back control of the issues that matter to the British people. Leaving the EU has given us the freedom to develop one of the fastest vaccine roll-outs in the world, establish eight freeports across the country, install a points-based immigration system, and negotiate new trade deals with the EU and almost 70 other countries.
  • Delivering the biggest cash boost in history for our NHS and enshrining that increase into law, safeguarding it for future generations. We are investing an additional £33.9 billion into frontline NHS services every year by 2023-24, the largest and longest funding settlement in the history of the NHS.
  • Confirmed £3.7 billion to build 40 hospital projects across England, so more people have top-class healthcare services in their local area. 40 hospital projects will be built by 2030 as part of our £3.7 billion package, with 8 further new schemes also invited to bid. This is the biggest hospital building programme in a generation, and delivers on our manifesto commitment.
  • Delivering a £14.4 billion funding boost for schools over three years, levelling up education across the country. The funding package for 5-16 schools includes £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22, and £7.1 billion for 2022-23 compared to 2019-20. This will bring the schools budget to £52.2 billion in 2022-23.
  • Introduced the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, giving people the skills to find and create new and better jobs. The Lifetime Skills Guarantee gives adults the chance to take free college courses valued by employers, as well as a new entitlement to flexible loans to allow courses to be taken in segments, boosting opportunities to retrain and enhancing the nation’s technical skills.
  • Recruited almost 9,000 new police officers, delivering on our pledge to hire 20,000 by 2023. We have already recruited 8,771 new officers, and we are on track to recruit 20,000 extra officers by 2023. As part of this year’s £636 million police funding settlement, more than £400 million will go towards recruiting additional officers.
  • Boosted police funding by £636 million this year, ensuring our frontline officers have everything need to keep us safe. This brings total police funding up to £15.8 billion for 2021-2022, including £400 million to recruit 20,000 new officers by 2023, £914 million for counter-terrorism policing, and £1.1 billion to target national priorities such as reducing serious violence and clamping down on county lines.
  • Overhauled terrorist sentencing and monitoring laws through our Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act, keeping the most serious offenders off our streets. Our Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Act ends early release for terror offenders who receive Extended Determinate Sentences, where the maximum penalty was life, and forces them to serve their whole term in jail.
  • Introduced our Nationality and Borders Bill, to fix our broken asylum system. Our Nationality and Borders Bill is the cornerstone of our New Plan for Immigration, delivering the most comprehensive reform in decades to fix the broken asylum system. The Bill has three key objectives, to make the system fairer and more effective, to deter illegal entry into the UK, and to remove from the UK those with no right to be here.
  • Increased the National Living Wage to £8.91 an hour, supporting hard-working families. This is a 2.2 per cent increase in the NLW, the equivalent of £345 extra per year for someone working full time. This increase strikes the right balance between supporting the living standards of the lowest paid, while ensuring businesses can thrive as the country continues to recover from Covid-19.
  • Oversaw the highest number of new homes built in over 20 years, helping more people get onto the property ladder. There were nearly 50,000 completed homes in the first quarter of 2021 – the highest figure in over 20 years and a 4 per cent increase compared to the last three months of 2020. During the same period, over 46,000 home builds were started, the highest number in nearly 15 years and a 7 per cent increase on the previous quarter.
  • Investing £3.6 billion in 101 towns through our Towns Fund, boosting local economies and creating jobs. The funding will support locally-led projects to transform disused buildings and public spaces, fund renovations to attractions, deliver new green transport, and create opportunities for people to develop new skills.
  • Delivering the biggest reforms to our railways in 25 years, with simpler, modern fares and reliable services for passengers. Through the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail we will set up a new public body, Great British Railways, who will integrate the railways, owning the infrastructure, collecting fare revenue, running and planning the network, and setting most fares and timetables.
  • Launched a £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, investing in infrastructure that will improve people’s everyday life. The Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities, such as town centre and high street regeneration, local transport, and cultural projects. At least £800 million of this fund will go towards Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Establishing eight new Freeports across England, boosting jobs, investment and communities now that we have left the EU. New Freeports will be based in East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe & Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside – and will be special economic zones with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business.
  • Set out a Ten Point Plan to unleash a green industrial revolution, creating jobs as we build back greener. The Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan will mobilise £12 billion of government investment to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs in the UK, and spur over three times as much private sector investment by 2030, helping us to meet our world leading target of being net zero by 2050.
  • Committed to reduce our carbon emissions by 78 per cent by 2035, as we work towards being Net Zero by 2050. We were the first major economy in the world to set a legally binding target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – and have enshrined into law a new target to reduce our emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. We have already reduced our emissions by 44 per cent between 1990 and 2019, while also growing our economy by 78 per cent – the fastest rate in the G7.
  • Boosting our defence budget by £24.1 billion over the next four years, helping to create a stronger, more secure Union – better equipped for a more competitive age. This increase – the largest investment since the cold war - will bring total Defence spending to £188 billion over the coming four years, as we modernise for the threats of the 2020s and beyond, contributing to national prosperity in the process.
  • Published the Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, defining the UK’s place in the world. The Integrated Review – the largest ever review of our defence and foreign policy – sets out our vision for a stronger, more secure, and more prosperous UK, working with our allies to shape the international order and promote openness, democracy and free trade.
  • Signed almost 70 trade deals worth almost £900 billion into law, signalling to the world we are once again a sovereign free trading nation. Our historic Trade Act allows us to put the agreements we have struck as a newly independent twenty-first century trading nation into law. For the first time in almost 50 years, the interests of the British people and their businesses’ can be put first in our trade agreements.



Anonymous said...

For the first time in almost 50 years, the interests of the British people and their businesses’ can be put first in our trade agreements.

Not Northern Ireland then.

Chris Whiteside said...

Northern Ireland is part of Britain and the government is trying extremely hard to get a fair and reasonable means of interpreting and implementing the Northern Ireland protocol agreed with the EU which will protect the interests of the people of Northern Ireland.

Chris Whiteside said...

One of the key principles of the Good Friday peace in Ireland has been that those citizens of Northern Ireland who wish to think of themselves as British, as many do, can do so, while those who wish to think of themselves as Irish, as many do, can do that too, and both communities are entitled to respect.

I have closed further comments on this thread because I am not going to engage with pedantic semantic arguuments about the distinction between Britain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In my humble opinion it is perfectly acceptable for most purposes to use "Britain" and "British" as shorthand when discussing the latter.