Investing in local public services
Mon 2 Aug 2021
By Mel Stride
The first parliamentary session since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister has recently concluded. While the Covid-19 pandemic has understandably been the primary focus of the Government for much of this time, other important legislation has been passed and significant progress has been made in many key policy areas.
Healthcare: one of the first pieces of legislation in this session was a Funding Bill sees the largest ever cash increase in the history of the NHS – an extra £33.9 billion every year by 2023-24. The record funding boost is already helping to recruit more nurses and doctors (including hundreds more in Devon), as well as building brand new hospitals and upgrading existing ones (including Torbay Hospital and RD&E).
Education: more funding is being delivered for primary and secondary education, starting with an additional £2.6 billion for the 2020-21 academic year. This will rise to £4.8billion extra next year and £7.1 billion extra the year after when compared to 2019-20 levels. These increases mean the schools budget will rise by 15% in cash terms over three years.
Climate Change: Last summer the UK completed its first two months in the past 230 years without burning any coal for power generation. In the autumn the PM set out his ten-point plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This will include £12 billion of government investment in carbon capture technology, offshore wind power and greener transport which is expected to create around 250,000 green jobs.
Brexit: Paralysis in Parliament was resolved with the deal the PM negotiated with the EU. We left the EU on January 31st 2020, delivering on the result of the EU Referendum and have since signed 67 trade deals. A new points-based immigration system has been introduced which prioritises highly skilled workers and those in shortage occupations.
Low Pay: In April 2020 the Government provided the largest ever cash boost to the National Living Wage, raising it to £8.72/hour or just over £18,000/year for someone working a 40-hour week. The Government has pledged to raise the NLW to two-thirds of average earnings within the next three years (currently forecast to be £10.50/hour or £21,840/year).
Policing: The Government has given the police its biggest increase in funding for a decade, with an extra £1.1billion this year. Our share in Devon & Cornwall is an extra £23.4million – an increase of 7.4%. We are on track to meet our manifesto commitment to recruit 20,000 more police officers over three years with more than 8,700 recruited in the past 12 months.
Criminal Justice Reform: Our landmark Domestic Abuse Act, which has been welcomed by organisations such as Women’s Aid, is widening the scope of domestic abuse to include emotional, coercive, controlling or economic abuse and is providing more support for victims. The Government has ended the automatic early release of terrorists and is ensuring that murderers and paedophiles who withhold information on their victims spend longer in prison.
More from Mel at www.melstridemp.com
Other columns by Mel Stride
Corona - A year on - Mon 14 Jun 2021
Supporting our Local Communities in difficult times - Mon 1 Mar 2021
The PM’s first year - Thu 1 Oct 2020
Quizzing the PM - Tue 7 Jul 2020
It’s the economy, stupid! - Tue 11 Feb 2020
Vision for the Future - Mon 2 Dec 2019
Into the Cabinet - Thu 1 Aug 2019
Local Apprenticeships Matter - Fri 3 May 2019
Huge shot in the arm for our High Streets - Thu 24 Jan 2019
Reading - Thu 8 Nov 2018
EU - In or Out? - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Opportunity. - Tue 22 Jan 2013
Where do we begin? - Tue 13 Nov 2012
To Infinity and Beyond - Wed 5 Sep 2012
Working in Westminster - Sun 1 Jul 2012
A Better Balance - Thu 5 Jan 2012
Capital Shame - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Olympic Feat... - Sun 11 Sep 2011
The Coalition - A year on - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Labour Dreams - Sun 17 Apr 2011
Now we really must mean Business - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Freedom and Responsibility - Sun 9 Jan 2011
A leader for Labour - Thu 4 Nov 2010
Education and Freedom - Mon 6 Sep 2010
Tradition and Words - Mon 6 Sep 2010
Mel Stride - Early Days in Westminster - Tue 6 Jul 2010
Mel Stride Conservative Parliamentary Candidate on The Big Society - Mon 3 May 2010
A look back over my years as Conservative parliamentary candidate and contributor to The Cottage - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Building the homes of the Future means giving Power to the People - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Early memories... - Wed 4 Nov 2009
As General Franco lay dying... - Tue 20 Oct 2009