This is an Archive of the YouElect 2010 website

This site will not be updated. To view our current website please visit www.youelect.org.uk

Policy-by-policy: The coalition government's plans
20th May 2010

Policy-by-policy: Coalition plans
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition has

for government. We are key details: BANKING
Banking system to be reformed, with banking levy introduced. "Robust action" to tackle "unacceptable bonuses". Plans to ensure flow of funds to small businesses. Independent commission to look at separating retail and investment parts of banks. Joining the euro during this Parliament ruled out.

POST OFFICE/ROYAL MAIL

Post Office will not be privatised, with post offices allowed to offer "wide range of services". No new regulation unless existing regulations cut by "a greater amount". Will seek private investment in the Royal Mail - although does not say whether or not the plan is for a full sell-off of the postal service.

BUSINESS

Sunset clauses on regulation, to ensure regular reviews. Promise to "find a practical way to make small business rate relief automatic". Tax system reformed to simplify reliefs and allowances. Creating "most competitive corporate tax regime in the G20". Creation of Local Enterprise Partnerships to replace Regional Development Agencies. Competitiveness of UK tourism industry to be improved.

CIVIL LIBERTIES

Introduce a Freedom Bill. Scrap ID cards, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database, and halt the next generation of biometric passports. Outlaw finger-printing of children at school without parental permission. Extend scope of Freedom of Information Act. More protections for DNA database. Protect trial by jury and restore rights to non-violent protest. Review libel laws to protect freedom of speech. Safeguards against misuse of anti-terrorism legislation. Regulate CCTV. Mechanism to prevent the proliferation of "unnecessary" new criminal offences. Establish commission to look at creating British Bill of Rights, incorporating and building on obligations under European Convention on Human Rights.

COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Freeze council tax in England for at least one year, and seek to freeze it for a further year. Create directly elected mayors in 12 largest English cities. Give councils powers to stop "garden grabbing". Give neighbourhoods more powers over planning. Abolish the Government Office for London and consider case for abolishing remaining government offices. Ensure courts have power to insist home repossession is always a last resort. Stop restructuring of councils in Norfolk, Suffolk and Devon and stop plans to force regionalisation of fire service. Review effectiveness of raising stamp duty threshold for first-time buyers.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

Ban excessive interest rates on credit and store cards. Introduce seven-day "cooling-off period" for store cards. Make credit card companies provide better information to customers in "uniform electronic format that will allow consumers to find out whether they are receiving the best deal". Measures to end "unfair" bank charges. Enhance customer service in private and public sectors. Introduce honesty in food labelling. Household energy bills to provide information on how to move to cheapest tariff offered by supplier, and show energy usage compared to similar households. Give Post Office Card account holders chance to benefit from direct debit discounts.

CRIME AND POLICING

Amend health and safety laws to ensure "common sense policing". Make police more accountable through oversight by a directly elected individual. Police to publish detailed local crime statistics every month. Hospitals to share non-confidential information with police so they know where gun and knife crime is happening. Greater legal protection to prevent crime and apprehend criminals. Ensure people have protection needed when they defend themselves against intruders. Ban sale of alcohol below cost price. Allow councils and police to shut down permanently any shop or bar found to be persistently selling alcohol to children. Double maximum fine for under-age alcohol sales to £20,000. Better recording of hate crimes against disabled, homosexual and transgender people. Temporary bans on new "legal highs", while health issues are considered by independent experts. Review Extradition Act - and US-UK extradition treaty - to make sure it is even-handed.

CULTURE, OLYMPICS, MEDIA AND SPORT

Maintain independent BBC. Keep free entry to national museums and galleries. Support England's 2018 World Cup bid. Stop "wasteful" spending by National Lottery. Set up annual "Olympics-style" school sports event. Ensure fast roll-out of superfast broadband - possibly using part of licence fee set aside to fund switchover to digital TV.

DEFENCE

Maintain nuclear deterrent, but scrutinise renewal of Trident for value for money. Cut Ministry of Defence costs by at least a quarter. Ensure service personnel get more rest and provide support for ex-personnel to go to university. More support for veterans' mental health needs. Review of rules on awarding medals.

DEFICIT REDUCTION

Main burden of deficit reduction to be tackled by reduced spending cuts, rather than tax rises. Stop rise in National Insurance. Cuts of £6bn to "non-frontline services" in 2010/11. Full Spending Review this autumn. Reduce spending on Child Tax Fund and tax credits for higher earners. Cut quangos.

ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Lib Dems will be able to maintain opposition to nuclear power, even though building more stations is backed by Conservatives. Lib Dem spokesman will speak against the policy and MPs will abstain in parliamentary vote. Nuclear power will not be confidence issue for government. No third runway at Heathrow and no permission for extra runways at Gatwick and Stansted. Air passenger duty replaced with per-flight duty. Ofgem to establish security guarantee for energy supplies. Offshore grid for wind power.

ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Free vote for Commons "to express its view" on repeal of Hunting Act. National tree-planting campaign. Improve flood defences. Work towards "zero-waste economy", encouraging councils to pay people to recycle. Badger control in areas with high levels of TB in cows. Raise standards of farm animal welfare. Irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs to be targeted.

EQUALITIES

Promote equal pay. Extend right to request flexible working. Public sector pay review to prevent highest paid earning more than 20 times the salary of the lowest paid. Stop deportation of asylum seekers who had to leave home countries because of intimidation over sexual orientation. Make sure UK civil partnerships recognised abroad.

EUROPE

UK not to join, or prepare to join, euro during this parliament. No further transfer of sovereignty over next parliament. Any future treaty transferring powers must be subject to UK referendum. Look at creating UK Sovereignty Bill. Press for European Parliament to meet only in Brussels - currently sits some of time in Strasbourg. UK will not take part in setting up European Public Prosecutor. Backing for further EU enlargement.

FAMILIES

Will reveal plans to "reduce the couple penalty" in tax credit system. Sure Start providers to be paid, in part, according to results achieved. Crackdown on irresponsible advertising and steps to stop commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood. Better access to children for non-resident parents and grandparents when couples split up.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Seek "special relationship" with India and closer engagement with China, while "standing firm" over human rights. Maintain "strong, close and frank relationship" with US. Support permanent seats for Japan, India, Brazil - along with African representation - on UN Security Council.

GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY

Salaries and expenses of highest-paid public sector workers to go online. Any public sector worker paid more than prime minister must have salary signed off by Treasury. Statutory register of lobbyists. Pursue cross-party agreement on limiting political donations. Councils to publish minutes of meetings and details of items of spending above £500.

IMMIGRATION

Annual limit on non-EU economic migrants admitted to UK. Speed up asylum system. End detention of children for immigration purposes.

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Honour commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on overseas aid from 2013 - and pass commitment into law. "More integrated approach" to post-conflict reconstruction. Support reform of World Bank and International Monetary Fund to help developing nations.

JOBS AND WELFARE

End all existing welfare-to-work schemes, creating single new programme. Ensure Job Seeker's Allowance claimants aged under 25 referred to new programme within six months. Re-assess all claimants of Incapacity Benefit for readiness to work - those deemed capable of work to be moved on to Jobseeker's Allowance. Work for Yourself scheme, to help start-up businesses with loans and advice from mentors.

JUSTICE

Anonymity in rape cases to be extended to defendants. "Rehabilitation revolution" - paying independent providers whose schemes reduce reoffending. Full review of sentencing. Deductions to be made from prisoners' earnings, with money going to victims' funds. Historical convictions for consensual gay sex for over-16s to be treated as spent and removed from criminal records. Neighbourhood "restorative justice" to deal with anti-social behaviour and low-level crime.

NATIONAL SECURITY

Deport foreign nationals who threaten security, where guaranteed they will not be tortured - extend these guarantees to more countries. Review Control Orders and seek practical way to use intercept evidence in court. Ban organisations espousing or inciting hatred.

NATIONS

Promote peace and stability in Northern Ireland and bring it "back into the mainstream of UK politics". Government paper on changing corporation tax rate in NI. Implement Calman Commission proposals and hold referendum on further Welsh devolution. Review control and use of accumulated and future revenues from Fossil Fuel Levy in Scotland.

NHS

Health spending to increase in real terms. Develop 24-hour urgent care across England, including GP out-of-hours services. Patients to register with any GP they want, regardless of where they live. Stop "centrally dictated" closure of A&E and maternity wards. Create Cancer Drugs Fund to enable access to treatments deemed necessary by doctors. Review National Institute for Clinical Excellence to bring in "value-based pricing" for drugs and treatment. Dentistry contract to increase access to NHS treatment. Give £10m a year from 2011 to children's hospices.

PENSIONS AND OLDER PEOPLE

Phase out default retirement age and hold review for when it starts to rise to 66 - will not happen sooner than 2016 for men and 2020 for women. "Triple guarantee" that basic state pension to rise by whichever higher of average earnings increase, price inflation or 2.5%, from next year. Review of long-term affordability of public pensions, but protecting accrued rights. End rules requiring compulsory annuitisation at age 75. Protect winter fuel allowance, free TV licences, free bus travel, free eye tests and free prescriptions for elderly.

POLITICAL REFORM

Established fixed-term, five-year parliaments. Ensure 55% of MPs needed to back dissolution of Parliament. Bring in referendum on voting reform. Give voters power of recall, forcing by-election where MP found to have done wrong and petition signed by 10% of constituents. Committee to look at wholly or partially elected Lords - to come up with draft motion by December. Speed up voter registration. Stop MPs accused of serious wrongdoing using parliamentary privilege as a defence. Fund 200 all-postal primaries for parliamentary seats which have not changed hands in many years. Ensure petitions with more than 100,000 signatures eligible for full debate in Parliament - petition with most signatures will allow public to table a bill. Introduce "public reading" stage when bills go through Parliament, with public comments debated by committees handling the legislation. Details of every UK project receiving more than £25,000 to be published.

PUBLIC HEALTH

Give GPs greater incentives to tackle public health problems. Improve access to preventative care in deprived areas.

SCHOOLS

New providers to enter state system in response to parental demand. Parents, teachers, charities and communities to get powers to set up schools. Set up "premium" to fund help for disadvantaged pupils, paid for by spending reductions elsewhere. Enable more faith schools to be set up, with "inclusive admissions policies". Anonymity to teachers accused by pupils of wrongdoing. League tables to be reformed, to show progress of pupils of all abilities. Prevent unnecessary closure of special schools. Better vocational training for teenagers. Review of how national tests for 11-year-olds work.

SOCIAL ACTION

National Citizens Service for 16-year-olds. Dormant bank account funds to go into Big Society Bank. Public sector workers to get right to form employee-owned co-operatives. National "social action" day.

SOCIAL CARE AND DISABILITY

Commission on long-term care to report within a year. Direct payments to carers.

TAXATION

Increase personal income tax allowance to £10,000. Capital gains tax rates to rise to a level "similar or close to those applied to income". Review of taxation of non-domiciled.

TRANSPORT

Introduce system of HGV road user charges to ensure "fairer arrangement" for UK hauliers. National recharging network for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Establish high-speed rail network and support Crossrail and more electrification of network. Rail franchises to last for longer. Stop central government funding for fixed speed cameras.

UNIVERSITIES AND FURTHER EDUCATION

"Set colleges free" from direct state control. Abolish "many" further education quangos. Publish information on costs, graduate earnings and "student satisfaction" of university courses.

Source