Dr Spencer Pitfield is the National Voluntary Director of the Conservative Policy Forum (CPF).
The Conservative Policy Forum (CPF) is proud to have recently published a document showing how the views of CPF members around the country have been reflected in Government policy during this Parliament. The extensive piece of work lists a selection of various policy suggestions from CPF groups over the past few years which have subsequently been carried out by Conservative Ministers. For example:
- In February 2012 CPF members said that they thought out of work benefits should be tied to training or work experience.
Action: The Government introduced the Help to Work scheme in September 2013.
- In March 2013 CPF members called for the Government to offer financial support for child care.
Action: The Government has introduced tax-free child care for working families and in September 2013 announced that it would double the number of two year olds from low income families who qualify for free childcare. Budget 2014 also announced that the Tax-Free Childcare costs cap, against which parents can claim 20 per cent support, will be increased from £6,000 to £10,000 per year for each child. These measures are in addition to the Government having previously increased free childcare for 3- and 4- year-olds from 12.5 hours a week to 15 hours a week.
- In May 2011 CPF members said that the Government should renew and reform Right to Buy.
Action: The Government re-launched Right to Buy in 2012 and raised the maximum discount available to tenants to £75,000.
- In February 2012 CPF members advocated support for better broadband access in rural communities.
Action: In January 2014, the Government announced £10 million of funding to support projects that use alternative technologies to deliver superfast broadband to the most remote communities in the UK. This is in addition to the £20 million Rural Broadband Fund announced in 2011 which is being used to fund small-scale community led projects.
- In March 2013 CPF members argued for the recognition of marriage in the tax system.
Action: In September 2013, the Government announced that marriage and civil partnership would be recognised through the income tax system from April 2015.
This brief list clearly shows that Conservative Ministers have been working hard with Members to secure a better future for Britain. We encourage you to take a look at this comparison document, which can be found on the CPF’s website at www.conservativepolicyforum.com.
It is also worth noting that we have just published the ministerial response to our arts and culture paper from Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and Digital Industries.
 HM Treasury, Spending Review 2010, October 2010.