Government outlines policy for next 2 years
The coalition Government's Mid-Term Review, the policy blueprint for between now and the May 2015 election, focused on six areas:
CHILDCARE: New investment to help working families cut the cost of childcare. Working parents are to be given thousands of pounds a year towards the cost of childcare. Britain has some of the highest childcare costs in the world. Ministers are to meet later this week to finalise a deal expected to be worth up to £2,000 per year per child for all working parents.
HOUSING: More help for families who cannot raise a deposit for a mortgage. The Government is to guarantee up to £10 billion to support increased building of both affordable homes and homes for private rent. The FirstBuy equity loan scheme will also be extended to help first-time buyers get a foot on the housing ladder. However, developers are to be freed to ignore "unviable" council targets for affordable homes.
OLD AGE CARE: The Government wants to cap the potentially huge cost of adult social care. Ministers are to commit to reforming residential care to stop people having to sell their homes to pay for help in old age. Two years ago a commission headed by economist Andrew Dilnot recommended capping costs at £35,000, with the taxpayer picking up the rest of the bill. But there was no mention in the Mid-Term Review of what the cap will actually be, despite rumours in Westminster that it could be as much as £75,000.
Are you nervous about public speaking or presenting ? I can help you become both confident and competent. For June I'm offering 60 minute coaching sessions for just £45 - Trevor Lee 07785 390717
Terms: Offer available to private individuals and businesses throughout June 2013.
Contact: 01326 330668
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
PENSIONS: The Government said: "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." Details were scant yesterday, but sources have suggested a more generous flat-rate state pension worth about £155 a week after 2015 is being worked up. But unions and pensioner groups warned confirmation of plans to reform the state pension system would mean making people work into their 70s.
TRANSPORT: Consulting on how to get private investment into motorways and trunk roads. Extending the HS2 high-speed rail line from Birmingham to the north of England, an "electrical spine" from Southampton to Yorkshire, electrifying railways to South Wales valleys, and introducing a £500 million direct rail link to Heathrow from the Great Western line.
FREEDOMS: Measures to limit state powers and extend personal freedoms.