Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Message from the Deputy PM

David Cameron is away on holiday, and a Lib Dem is in charge of the country!!

Nick Clegg, below, takes the opportunity of outlining progress to date:

"Today, the coalition Government is 100 days old.
I want to take this moment to say thank you once again for all your support, all your hard work, all your generosity. Thank you for everything you did to help us win over a million more votes for the Liberal Democrats in the General Election. Thank you for getting Liberal Democrat ministers into government for the first time in generations.
Today I made a speech about how the Coalition government is building a fairer society in Britain. You can read it
Both David Cameron and I have always made it clear that we are governing Britain for the long term, not for tomorrow's headlines.
One of our main long-term goals is to increase social mobility. A fair society is one where everyone has the chance to do well, regardless of their beginnings. A society where no-one is held back by the circumstances of their birth. Where what counts isn't what school you went to, the job your parents did or the colour of your skin, but your ability and ambition.
When the history books are written, I want them to say that this government paid down the budget deficit and laid down the foundations of economic prosperity for years to come. I also want them to say that children born in 2015 are less constrained by the circumstances of their birth than any previous generation.
There is a huge amount of work to be done. Labour spent huge amounts of money pushing low-income households just above the poverty line - but with no impact on the chances of the next generation.
The two most important areas which I outlined in my speech today and will guide the Government's social mobility strategy are:
* Tax reform. We will reform the tax system so it encourages social mobility, rather than social segregation. We took a first step towards that at the Budget by raising the income tax threshold, taking 880,000 people out of tax altogether. Reforming income tax is explicitly aimed at those who are in paid work - the surest route out of poverty. Making income tax fairer will not only be a measure to boost fairness today, but is also an investment in fairness tomorrow.

* Education. We are introducing a Pupil Premium to make sure investment is channelled to the children and schools who need it most. The level of the Pupil Premium will be announced in October. Schools will be able to spend the money as they see fit - so long as its purpose it to help pupils overcome the accidents of birth.

I will also be chairing a new ministerial group on Social Mobility, including Conservatives like Iain Duncan Smith and David Willetts as well as Liberal Democrats like Sarah Teather and Lynne Featherstone. Alan Milburn, who is widely respected across the political spectrum for his tireless work on social mobility, will act as an independent reviewer of the Government's success in delivering social mobility."

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