Last Updated: 10 October 2018
Created: 10 October 2018
The Prime Minister Theresa May gave an energetic and confident speech as she closed the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham last week.
During the speech she called for unity over Brexit and asserted her confidence in a post-Brexit Britain, saying: “Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t have what it takes, we have everything we need to succeed.”
The strong economy was also highlighted, and the Prime Minister reaffirmed her commitment to backing businesses and supporting the free market.
The Prime Minister also outlined the Conservative Party’s long-term plan for the NHS, reminding people that earlier this year she announced the biggest cash boost in its history – amounting to an extra £394 million every single week.
A new cancer strategy was announced, which focuses on early detection. As part of this strategy the bowel cancer screening age will be lowered from 60 to 50, there will be investment in the very latest scanners, and new rapid diagnostic centres built. It is hoped that this new strategy will mean that by 2028, 55,000 more people will be alive five years after their diagnosis compared to today.
It was also announced that the Government is to lift the cap on how much they can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets to fund new developments and get them building again. The Prime Minister said: “Solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation. It doesn’t make sense to stop councils from playing their part in solving it.”
Fuel duty is also to be frozen for the 9th year in a row, putting money in the pockets of hard-working people from a Conservative Government that is on their side. The Prime Minister said: “Because for millions of people, their car is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. I can confirm, given the high oil price, the Chancellor will freeze fuel duty once again in his budget later this month.”
North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said: “This was a positive, upbeat and determined speech, it was great to hear the Prime Minister express her confidence in Britain. This is a moment of opportunity to reach out to the millions of working people who are ready for a Conservative Party that puts their interests first. When we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Our future is in our hands.”
Other announcements made by the Prime Minister included:
- A change to the law to allow opposite-sex civil partnerships, bring legal certainty and stability to families and ensuring that all children have the best and most stable start in life.
- A higher rate of stamp duty to individuals and companies buying homes who are not resident in the UK for tax purposes. The money this raises will be used to fund action to tackle rough sleeping.
- A new skills-based immigration system that ends free movement once and for all. For the first time in decades, it will be this country that controls and chooses who we want to come here. It will be a system that looks across the globe, and attracts the people with the skills we need.
- A ban on deductions from tips, boosting the pay for workers on low wages and offering a more honest arrangement for the consumers who leave tips.
- The UK will host a nationwide festival in 2022. The £120 million festival will see events take place across all four of our nations and showcase the best of Britain’s talent in business, technology, arts and sport to the rest of the world.
- The Government will support a bid to bring the 2030 FIFA World Cup home to the United Kingdom and Ireland.
- A £840 million to upgrade public transport links in cities and suburbs, helping businesses create more well-paid jobs.
Conference at a glance
- From 2020 students will be able to study T-Levels, A new high quality, technical alternative to the A Level. In order to make sure the first colleges who deliver these gold standard qualifications are set up and ready to go in September 2020 with the equipment and facilities they need, we are announcing £38 million of capital funding
- High performing schools and colleges will receive £66 million over five years to share their expertise, establishing Maths Centres of Excellence.
- The careers strategy for schools sets out ambitious plans to improve careers provision in schools, committing to training 500 Career Leaders and establishing 20 networks of schools and colleges working together with employers. We will now more than double this to 1,400 trained Career Leaders and 40 networks.
- We are investing £10 Million to support the best schools to share their knowledge, improve training on behaviour.
- The Education Secretary and the Sports Minister will convene key organisations in the sports world to encourage schools to offer more competitive school sport. This will lead to a School Sports Action Plan which will be published next year.
Crime and prisons
- A consultation on a suite of new measures to tackle forced marriage, including mandatory reporting duty.
- A £200 million into the Youth Endowment Fund to focus on violent crime hotspots
- Creating a targeted package to give offenders the skills for the workplace through better education and on-the-job training whilst they are in prison.
Business and the Economy
- Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark awarded £10 million to back projects which will create a regulatory environment giving innovative businesses the confidence to invest and deploy emerging technologies.
- Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister Kelly Tolhurst, unveiled new measures to end the problem of late payments to small businesses by large companies who abuse their position in the market
- Abolishing Severn Bridge Tolls, saving commuters £1,400 a year, and potentially boosting the Welsh economy by £100 million a year.
- A £31 million package of support for small businesses– including creating a small business leadership academy, business mentoring and peer networks–to help them grow and reach their full potential.
- Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment Thérèse Coffey set out further action to tackle air pollution in the UK, with ten local authorities now taking forward new measures, developed and funded by central government, to reduce pollution levels.
- The Government will work with businesses, charities and volunteers to deliver food waste reduction scheme backed by £15m of additional funding.
- Housing, Communities and Local Government Minister Heather Wheeler welcomed new rules coming into effect which will help protect at least 850,000 more people in privately rented homes from poor living conditions and overcrowding.
- Funding the remediation of all combustible material from high rise social housing in England through a £400 million fund, and are making significant progress with those responsible for remediating private blocks.
- Ambitious plans to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. We are proposing new and amended permitted development rights and measures to speed up the discharge of planning conditions. We are also providing more flexibility in disposing of surplus land for local authorities and new guidance on the compulsory purchase powers of new town development corporations.
- Announced the first phase of the National Retraining Scheme, which we will roll out next year. This will include a careers guidance service to help people identify local jobs available; and an online learning offer to develop core, transferable skills sothat they are prepared for the future. Our focus for the second phase will be on job-specific re-training –and supporting the lowest skilled workers.
- Giving employers more flexibility in how they can use the money they pay into the Apprenticeship Levy, as well as speeding up the number of high quality apprenticeship standards available for training, as businesses have asked us to do. And we are committing to further work with business on the operation of the levy after 2020.
- Announced that we will legislate that large organisations will have to publish their parental leave and pay policies–reducing the risk of discrimination during recruitment and encouraging employers to offer more generous parental pay for both men and women.
- A partnership with Barnardo’s, the charity supporting vulnerable children and teenagers, to refer care leavers to supported work experience places in its shops. This will help them into work and remove any barriers or obstacles they may have previously faced when entering the workforce.
- A partnership with Citizens Advice to deliver digital support for people setting up online Universal Credit claims and providing budgeting support for claimants to manage their money. This will ensure our welfare system continues to improve, supporting those who need it so that they can get on in life.
- Announced the launch a scheme to help ex-servicemen find the job they want, whilst also introducing schemes to support those living with or caring for those with life-changing injuries or disabilities.
- We are introducing a simple and speedy one-click claims system, ensuring that we use technology to help passengers claim more quickly, so that no one is left out of pocket for the delays they suffer. This will ensure a fairer system for ordinary hard working people.
- As part of the biggest road investment since the 1970s – together with the Roads Investment Strategy– we have shortlisted five local road schemes for the early years of the MRN programme. Each scheme is eligible for £20-£50 million of funding, and we will work with local authorities to develop their proposals.