This week saw the conclusion of the annual Party Conference season. I attended the Conservative one this week, my first in my new role as the Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.
The Prime Minister set out how we are getting on with the job of uniting and levelling up every part of the UK as we build back better from the pandemic.
Since the 2019 General Election so much has happened.
As promised, we delivered Brexit and secured a deal with the EU. Life was soon to be dominated by the impact of Covid, which the Government rightly provided £407bn of economic support for communities, businesses and, through our furlough scheme, over 11m employees. Then thanks to the fantastic vaccine rollout our daily lives are returning to normality with our economy now one of the most open in the world, delivering the fastest return to growth in the G7, helping create record job vacancies.
After decades of drift and dither, this government is getting on with the job.
We are providing an immediate £5.4bn over the next 6 months and £36bn over the next 3 years to clear the NHS backlogs built up over Covid. We are also increasing NHS funding by £33.9bn per year by 2023/24 – delivering new facilities, services, treatments, nurses and GP’s.
We are reforming Social Care, an issue avoided for too long by Governments of all persuasions. Plans for sustainable and fair funding and closer integration with the NHS are key.
We are boosting school funding, with an extra £14.8bn over the next 3 years – making sure every child can fulfil their potential.
We are committed to building more homes, moving away from generation rent to generation buy – with the largest number of new homes built in the last 20 years.
We have set out our plans for an Industrial Green Revolution, not only to support our efforts to tackle climate change, but to provide the next generation of high tech, high skilled jobs.
We are also committed to making our streets safer, with significant progress on our commitment to deliver 20,000 more Police Officers, 18,000 more prison places and tougher sentences.
Finally, post Brexit we are embarking on the change of direction that has been long overdue in the UK, creating a high wage, high skill, high productivity economy that the people of this country need and deserve, in which everyone can take pride in their work and the quality of their work.
Our 70 trade deals, freeports and measures to remover EU red tape will boost businesses and investment. Already this is helping Swindon, this week alone we welcomed the announcement of a partnership with Thermo Fisher to manufacture the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine creating 200 new high value, scientific jobs in Swindon.
Through our new controlled immigration measures, the £30bn Plan for Jobs, doubling of work coaches, introduction of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, expansion of apprenticeships and technical training – we can make sure everyone benefits from economic growth, rising wages and crucially in their own areas, ending the contrast drift to London for all corners of the UK.
To deliver our changes, we will get on with our job of uniting and levelling up across the UK - the greatest project that any government can embark on.