I think it was an excellent idea for David Cameron and Nick Clegg to conduct a joint press conference on Monday outlining their vision for the coalition going forward. We are half way through this Coalition’s term and it is important that we take stock of what the Government has achieved over the last three years and what it seeks to do in the two years ahead. We know that the economic climate was very unstable when the Coalition came to office but the document released by the Cabinet Office as part of this Mid Term Review shows the UK deficit has already been cut by a quarter. This is very good news. Further, the Government has sought to regulate those financial institutions which contributed to the economy’s weakening whilst tackling areas such as climate change, the UK’s energy and transport infrastructure and also its work and pensions. Described in the Mid Term Review as a “radical agenda of social renewal,” the Government is certainly hoping to achieve changes in areas that need it most, within tight economic constraints.
The Review highlights the aim of a £10,000 personal income tax allowance (almost achieved already), the freeze on council tax, assistance with energy bills and the cutting of fuel duty. Importantly the NHS has been protected from spending cuts and measures have been introduced so that the richest contribute the most in taxation towards reducing the deficit.
Going forward the Government intends to supplement child care costs for working families, ensure more houses are built for those that require them and ensure long term investment in the transport infrastructure. For the future, measures will improve the state pension and help with costs for those in long term care.
Some were critical of the way in which David Cameron and Nick Clegg chose to give their press conference in the rose garden at Number 10 in 2010 but you can certainly not fault the coalition for trying its utmost to tackle those difficult decisions which need urgent attention. As John Cridland, director general of the Confederation for British Industry, said: “The coalition deserves high marks for its commitment to tackle the deficit and its plan for growth.” I believe that this Mid-Term Review is a good demonstration of this continued determination.
You can read the Mid-Term Review at: