Best Wishes to the Champions of Change.

Coalition Government

Finally the Election is really over and while it didn’t have a winner as such, we got a result: a coalition Government for the first time since World War II. Surprisingly – it’s between The Conservatives and Lib-Dems.

Perhaps this a measure of the severity of the crisis inflicted by the world economy – that such a seemingly unlikely combination should occur. Let’s hope they are able to work together for long enough to sort a few things out.

The new government was announced within a few hours of Gordon Brown’s final, moving speech and his exit from No10. As his car left Downing Street it took the TV commentators (including John Prescott, former Deputy Leader of the Labour Party to both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown) by surprise by heading straight to Buckingham Palace where Brown handed in his notice and was accepted by the Queen.

They promised Change, we wanted change, and we got change – different to anyone expected,

Change indeed – a new way of working together? We wish good luck to all in the new government and to the loyal opposition. We and the world will be watching to see if this really is a new politics and a change for the good.

The Cabinet:

  • PM: David Cameron (Cons)
  • Deputy PM: Nick Clegg (Lib-dem)
  • Foreign Sec: William Hague (Cons)
  • Chancellor: George Osborne (Cons)
  • Defence Sec: Liam Fox (Cons)
  • Health: Andrew Lansley (Cons)
  • Energy/Climate: Chris Huhne (Lib-dem)
  • Environment Secretary: Caroline Spelman (C0ns)
  • Justice Sec: Ken Clarke (Cons)
  • Home Sec: Theresa May (Cons)
  • Business Sec: Vince Cable (Lib-dem)
  • International Development Sec : Andrew Mitchell (C0ns)
  • Transport Secreatary: Philip Hammond (Cons)
  • Education Sec: Michael Gove (Cons)
  • Work & Pension Ian Duncan Smith (Cons)
  • Chief Sec to Treasury: David Laws (Lib-dem)
  • Scottish Secretary: Danny Alexander (Lib-dem)
  • Welsh Secretary: Cheryl Gillan (Cons)
  • Northern Ireland Secretary: Owen Paterson (Cons)
  • Communities & Local Govt. Secretary: Eric Pickles (Cons)
  • Sec Culture/Olympics: Jeremy Hunt  (Cons)
  • Tory chair: Baroness Warsi (Cons)
  • Leader of the Lords: Lord Strathclyde (Cons)

The Government Programme:

  • An emergency Budget will take place within 50 days with  “significant acceleration” of efforts to reduce the budget deficit – including £6bn of spending reductions this year.
  • Plans for five-year, fixed-term parliaments making the next election due in 2015 with the coalition itself to last for the whole of this parliament.
  • The Lib Dems have dropped plans for a “mansion tax” on properties costing more than £2m, while the Conservatives have done likewise their pledge to raise the inheritance tax threshold to £1m.
  • The Lib Dem policy of taxing planes, rather than passengers, has been adopted and there will be a commitment to a new tax or levy on banks.
  • A “significant move” towards raising the income tax threshold to £10,000 will be made in the first budget.
  • Part of Labour’s planned rise in National Insurance will be scrapped.
  • A pledge to have a referendum on any further transfer of powers to the EU and a commitment from the Lib Dems not to adopt the euro for the lifetime of the next Parliament.
  • The Lib Dems have agreed to Tory proposals for a cap on non-EU migration.
  • The Conservatives will recognise marriage in the tax system, but Lib Dems will abstain in the Commons vote on it.
  • The Lib Dems will drop opposition to a replacement for Britain’s Trident nuclear missiles, however the programme will be scrutinised for value for money.
  • There will be a referendum on moving to the Alternative Vote system.
  • An enhanced “pupil premium” for deprived children as required by the Lib Dems .