Today the Queen delivered a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a One Nation Government. When we came to office in 2010, our urgent task was to get the British economy going again. With the strengthening economy moving in the right direction, we can be ambitious in our plans to deliver for the hardworking people of Britain.
Security for working people is the next step in our long-term economic plan for our country. Whether it is continuing to bring the public finances under control so that Britain lives within its means or delivering the infrastructure that British business needs to carry on creating jobs. To help create jobs, we will make our country a world leader in the digital economy, with new obligations on broadband providers to make sure everyone in Britain has access to an affordable high speed internet connection. To back business, we will make sure Britain has first-class infrastructure, especially when it comes to the transport of the future. To support aspiration and promote home ownership, we will build a million new homes across the country by reforming planning. And because we want to make sure every part of our country shares in our rising prosperity, we will legislate for a dramatic devolution of power to local areas, giving them complete control over business rate revenues to use as they wish to stimulate economic growth.
These reforms will help people get on. But to spread life chances to everyone, we have to go further in tackling the barriers to opportunity. With this Government, the number of people living in poverty has fallen; the number of students from low income backgrounds going to university has risen, and hope has returned to communities that were once written off. But there are still too many people left behind – and they need deeper, more intensive help.
Increasing life chances for the most disadvantaged is at the heart of this Queen’s speech. We will carry out bold reforms to tackle some of the deepest social problems in our country and remove all barriers to opportunity. We will give children in care the best possible start in life by tackling state failure, so children in care are not doomed to a life of poverty. There are reforms to schools, so excellence that comes with more teacher freedom is spread to every community. There is an expansion of higher education, so just as we uncapped the number of student places we now encourage the new universities that will help educate the next generation. And because this Government sees the potential in everyone, we will finally undertake the long-overdue change that our prisons need. No longer will they be warehouses for criminals; we want them to be incubators of changed and reformed lives. This is a Queen’s Speech aimed at giving everyone in our country the chance to get on.
Strengthening our national security to keep our country safe is the first duty of Government. We cannot extend opportunity or help working people if our country is not safe. So this is a Queen’s Speech that invests in Britain’s armed forces, honouring our NATO commitment to spend two per cent of GDP on defence. To support global stability and prevent new threats to our security, we will also meet our commitment on international development spending. And in an ever more dangerous and unstable world, where the threats to our country are increasing not diminishing, we will secure the long-term future of our nuclear deterrent and give our security and intelligence agencies the powers they need to keep us safe.
This is our legislative programme: to give working people security in their personal and professional lives; to increase the live chances for the most disadvantaged in our society; and to strengthen our national security to keep us all safer. We’ve set challenging, but achievable goals, using the strong foundations of our economy to make a series of bold choices that will improve lives across the country. It is a One Nation Queen’s Speech from a progressive, One Nation, Conservative Government.
After months of hard work, Thursday 5th May is finally here. Without your help and support we would not have had such an enthusiastic campaign and I am incredibly grateful.
Because of you, Conservative candidates will be elected to serve their local area. And that means thousands of people across our country will now get the strong, competent leadership that Conservatives only can deliver.
In the coming years, I hope that we can continue to count on your support.
Vote Conservative today to secure a better and brighter future for Britain. Polls are open TODAY from 7am - 10pm.
In less than 24 hours polls open across the country. Vote Conservative to secure a brighter, better future.
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Ahead of tonight's final #LeadersDebate on BBC Scotland at 8pm, here are the facts of the Scottish Parliament election.
- The SNP are set to win, risking a new drive for independence: The SNP has become complacent and is more interested in holding another referendum than in making our hospitals and schools better.
- Labour are in a mess, riddled with incompetence and weak leadership:Labour have taken Scotland for granted for far too long. Their infighting, incompetence and weak leadership means they cannot provide the opposition that Scotland needs.
- Labour and the Lib Dems have both dropped their opposition to independence: What’s worse is that Scottish Labour and theScottish Liberal Democrats have now dropped their opposition to independence. That means they can’t hold the SNP to account and ensure they focus on the issues that matter – like schools, hospitals and family pay packets.
- Only Ruth Davidson can provide a strong opposition to hold the SNP to account. Full stop.
Itt is clear that Ruth Davidson is the ONLY leader with a plan to keep the SNP in check and make them focus on the issues that matter to Scotland.
Join the Twitter conversation during tonight’s debate by using #LeadersDebate and #TeamRuth to show your support.
New figures show that crime in England and Wales has fallen by 32% since 2010, to its lowest level ever.
By continuing to cut crime, Conservatives have shown that they can keep communities safer and more secure whilst at the same time taking the difficult decisions to make Britain fit for the future.
In the last three and a half years our Police and Crime Commissioners have shown that they are vital to making local communities safer. PCCs have the ability to hire and fire chief constables, set local priorities, and they oversee budgets of hundreds of millions of pounds.
And so with crime now at its lowest level ever, you can help secure the future of our country by voting for a Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner on Thursday 5th May.
Voters across the country will soon choose their local representatives for the next four years. These are the people who will provide a strong opposition to the SNP in Scotland, work to deliver real change for Wales, ensure local councils deliver value for taxpayers’ money in England, work with the local police as Police and Crime Commissioners and stand up for Londoners as their next Mayor.
And if you’ve applied to vote early by post, you’ll either have received your ballot – or will be receiving it over the next few days.
The elections are crucial because the alternative is a serious threat to both our national and economic security. On Friday 6th May people across Britain could wake up to find their local area being run by a Labour Party whose leader wants to abolish our Armed Forces, get rid of our nuclear deterrent, put up income tax on hardworking people and print money to pay for public services.
So if you have a postal vote, please do complete and return it today.
And just as important – help spread the word among your friends and family. Every single vote will matter in this crucial election.
Since 2010 over 4 million of the lowest paid people have been taken out of income tax. Because of our increases to the personal allowance, a typical basic rate taxpayer will be paying over £900 less in income tax than they were in 2010.
Today the personal allowance rises yet again, meaning that no one earning under £11,000 will pay any income tax.
We believe that when you work hard, you deserve to keep more of the money you earn. That’s why we’re on course to increase the personal allowance to £12,500 by 2020.
Today, the Basic State Pension increases to £119.30 a week, the biggest real-terms rise in 15 years.
Because of our triple lock, we have ensured that the state pension rises every year in line with wages, prices or by 2.5% – whichever is highest.
So the full basic state pension is now £1,125 a year higher than it was in 2010. That’s only possible because we’re taking the difficult decisions so that we can deliver dignity and security for those in retirement.
Today, 1.3 million of the lowest paid working people in Britain, aged 25 or over, will get a direct pay rise.
The new National Living Wage will start at £7.20 an hour, and is expected to rise to £9 an hour by 2020. It means that those currently on the minimum wage working 35 hours a week will see their pay rise by £4,200 over the next four years.
And so as well as creating over 2.3 million more jobs since 2010, we’re helping people keep more of the money they earn by increasing their pay, keeping council tax down and cutting income tax.
This is all part of a plan that is honouring our commitments to the British people to deliver a higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax country that finally lives within its means. It's a modern, compassionate Conservative government in action.